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Building Sustainable Curriculum


As KIS finished up the 2019-2020 school year, a group of thirteen educators from Pangyo and Seoul campuses met to develop math and social studies curriculum centered on standards based practices. The group included elementary, middle, and high school teachers in addition to teaching and learning coaches. This intentional time given to curriculum work is another step KIS has taken to build a robust, sustainable curriculum.  

KIS follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework which means elementary and secondary teams develop enduring understandings and essential questions for units. The social studies curriculum shifts from more traditional history courses to inquiry based classes, including a human geography course for grade seven. And in grade eight, students wonder what it means to be an informed citizen. The expectation is that KIS students wrestle big questions and practice critical thinking, empathy and collaboration to find answers. 

The math department sifted through all grade level curricula to identify gaps in content as well redundancies. Math content focus is designed to support standards rather than simply teaching a chapter from a textbook. Rethinking a UbD energizes the teaching and learning in a classroom. Now the math department is set to create more high interest application activities. 

The June cohort continues this work now, as conduits of knowledge for other educators. Teachers can rely on the June cohort for support and expertise as all KIS teachers refine their own UbD units. The teaching and learning team also looks forward to supporting this ongoing curriculum work.

Contributed by Brittany Smith, Tomás Wallenberg & Jennifer Wright