Introduction, Option A:
Landscape Analogy on Importance of Design

Estimated Time: 5 minutes.

Example of Use: Sample 1.5-Day Workshop Agenda

List of Materials

Sample Presentation

Begin your workshop by introducing yourself or having someone introduce you. Become acquainted with the participants. If the group is small, you may wish to have individuals introduce themselves. In a large group, you may wish to have people respond to such general questions as, "How many teach grades K-2 (3-5, etc.)?" or to make such general comments as, "I was happy to meet some of you at the convention and to be invited to tell you more about SFAA and Benchmarks." Set a more specific context for the workshop if it is appropriate to do so.

TRANSPARENCY: Importance of Design

Presenter: Project 2061 is a long-term initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that seeks to reform education in science, mathematics, and technology that will foster science literate graduates. Planning curricula to achieve that goal is much like the planning that goes into a garden or landscape.

As a popular book on landscape design asserts,

The key to a good landscape is design, as distinguished from mere decoration. To decorate is to put things into the environment without purpose in mind. There is no real intent, no plan. . . . When you design a landscape, you know WHY you are putting this plant here and that walkway there. A designed landscape is one that has been thought through, whose choices are conscious and intentional. It is essential that we introduce more design thinking into our decisions about curriculum revisions. Are we clear on WHY we are adding something and WHY we are placing it in this course and at this grade level rather than another? Are we removing something from the course to make time for what we have added? How does what we add relate to material students have studied prior to this course and to material in courses that will follow? In short, are decisions we make in our current approach to curriculum changes based on design or decoration? Project 2061 is producing a set of tools to help school districts make intentional choices about curricula.