Surveys of the Enacted Curriculum (SEC)
The Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) is a research project of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The SEC examines classroom teaching practices (including student cognition and content), instructional readiness, teacher professional development practices and needs, and instructional influences in the content areas of mathematics, science, English language arts, and social studies. Once a teacher completes a series of survey questions, he or she is able to visualize how and reflect on what the students are leaning or the enacted curriculum in their own classroom.
Wisconsin has been actively involved in SEC with over 30 Wisconsin school districts participating in the SEC in one or more subject area through program evaluation, alignment of instruction, standards & assessments, and needs assessment activities. Districts use the aggregated SEC data to make comparisons of their data to the state standards and assessment data. This data then guides them while making changes to their curriculum, classroom practice, and/or textbook selection. For example, the Stoughton School District made curricular changes to their science and mathematics programs by using and analyzing their SEC data. Stoughton teachers stated in their presentation at the New Wisconsin Promise Conference that the grade-by-grade information learned from the SEC results allowed them to make efficient and effective curricular changes that might not have been possible without the SEC data.
In addition to the above work, Wisconsin used the SEC-ELL under a federal EAG grant. From that grant efforts we have learned about the interaction of linguistic demands and student cognitive demands. We have evaluated the impact of this information on state standards and assessments for mathematics and science.
The survey instruments and reporting tools provide an objective approach for schools and districts to analyze instruction in relation to best practice and Wisconsin’s content standards. This data can be used in professional learning communities to promote dialogue and discussion around effective teaching. In summary, the data can be used to
- Analyze the effects of instruction on student success,
- Support alignment of instruction to Wisconsin’s academic content standards,
- Identify professional development needs,
- Engage teachers in open, objective dialogue with others about what and how they teach; thus, the opportunity to learn.