Book Review

The Curriculum Mapping Planner

Templates, Tools and Resources for Effective Professional Development

by Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Ann Johnson, ASCD, -Alexandria, Va., 2009, 124 pp., $29.95 softcover

The Curriculum Mapping Planner: Templates, Tools and Resources for Effective Professional Development caught my attention because it is a training manual that provides a road map to guide the development of quality professional development related to curriculum mapping.

Written by two of the giants in the field, Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Ann Johnson, the book underscores the philosophy that the process of curriculum mapping is so rich it can become the hub for making decisions about teaching and learning and has the potential to inform and integrate, completely, the work of a school district.

The book is sectioned in four professional development modules — laying the foundation; launching the process; maintaining, sustaining and integrating the system; and incorporating advanced mapping tasks. Each section’s training modules provide activities and supporting materials for in-depth understanding, training tips and online materials, including handouts, map templates and examples.

The trainings are laid out in a consistent format, beginning with essential questions, followed by content, specific skills and evidence of learning.

The book provides a sequential study of mapping and is appropriate for use in schools and districts no matter what level of understanding currently exists with regards to this K-12 curriculum process. The lessons can be easily differentiated for groups of learners.

The book also provides activities beyond the Mapping 101 stage. For example, often the initial curriculum mapping occurs, but classroom teachers and administrators get bogged down trying to sustain and integrate the system. A module on merging assessment data into maps provides a visual picture for analysis where maps become a vehicle for discussions as part of a professional learning community.

Reviewed by Marilyn King, assistant superintendent, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Mont.