Every book has its own story and this book is no different. The journey began with a love for culture, history and most importantly our children’s learning. In the Virgin Islands Department of Education, there is a movement to ensure that the history of the islands is taught in all our schools. This surge of knowledge also comes from our students. Thus, one sleepless evening, I decided to put together a framework that would give teachers a written document that would assist them with teaching Virgin Islands History and culture in every subject area.
In creating this book, I had the distinct opportunity to have the book revised by the Virgin Islands Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Ms. Chermaine Hobson, Ms. Denise Gomes- Program Manager, Ms. Yvette McMahon-Arnold State Director of Instructional Development and St. Croix District Coordinator. As the Director of the Virgin Islands Cultural Education Division, it was and will always be critical to update this book to ensure that we provide teachers, students and the community with the possible opportunity to teach Virgin Islands History, culture, and prosperity.
Research has shown that no one teaching strategy will consistently engage all learners. The key is helping students relate lesson content to their own backgrounds. A curriculum framework is an organized plan or set of standards that defines the content to be learned in terms of clear, definable standards. It is a part of an outcome-based education or stands based education. The Crossing Paths Framework is comprised of the Educator cultural standards, Cultural Curriculum stands, student cultural standards, Professional Growth Plan (PGP-VI Teachers Effectiveness standards), Common Core: College and Career ready standards. The framework will simplify the work for teachers in preparation for the incorporation of cultural education standards into their lesson plans. It will give professionals the ability to ensure that all facets of culture can be applied to everyday teaching and learning. It encompasses all strandards of Virgin Islands aesthetic value, connection, relationships, and applications. In addition, teachers are given instructional strategies for reading, speaking, writing, listening and technology. This framework provides a holistic and culturally responsive way to create, plan and refine teaching activities, and lessons.
The framework is comprised and aligned to the Professional Growth plan where you will find the VI Teacher effectiveness standards, the Danielson Framework and the Cultural standards whose areas are Educator, Curriculum, and Student standards. In the final column of the table you will note that there is the Common Core: College and Career Readiness standards in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening and mathematics. In the second row of the table, you will find “Instructional Strategies” that teachers can use to engage students to become independent strategic learners. The application of these strategies can be found in the next own named “In the Classroom”. This section gives teachers samples/ideas of various lessons that are aligned with each aspect of the instructional strategies. It serves as a roadmap that teachers may use on all levels. It is most important not to take the samples literary but to employ your own ideas in each of the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and mathematics. As you develop your lesson plans remember that this serves as a guide and you can use it to explore other avenues in your area of expertise to ensure that teaching and learning occurs.