Implementation refers to “efforts designed to get evidence from programs or practices via effective change strategies” (Damshroder and Hagedorn, 2011, p. 195). Bamgbose (1991) sees curriculum implementation as “ranging from actual language work to production of materials”. It is noted that effective translation of policies into practice is necessary in order for actual implementation to fully take place. Meanwhile, curriculum monitoring according to Maglaras and Lynch (1988) may determine the appropriateness of the materials and strategies used for the implementation of the program.
Failures and difficulties in curriculum innovations due to ineffective implementation were discovered in the late sixties and early seventies (Kanter, 1983; McLaughlin, 1998; Sarason, 1971; cited in Alan & Wong, 2011). Implementation of change is inevitable. Change agents- those implementing the change-often struggle in implementing it especially when it is delivered in haste. The critical question is what does it take to achieve quality implementation and monitoring?
Curriculum implementation and monitoring is not an easy task. It demands time and resources in order for change to successfully take place. Stakeholders should possess the capabilities and competencies needed to carry out the process of curriculum implementation and monitoring. Administrative support and clarity and awareness of the objectives of the innovation should be given attention, especially when dealing with the change agents. The common struggle is on how to get them on board and how to develop their attitudes as effective implementers of change. Policy making should also be based on programs which gained quality implementation and monitoring. Otherwise, the proportional value and cost-effectiveness of programs cannot be identified. Quality implementation and monitoring, on the other hand, may suffer by attempting to shortchange the process and alter vital steps. Therefore, the process of implementing and monitoring a change should not be rushed. The importance of quality implementation and monitoring is critical to youth outcomes. Effective implementation and monitoring can lead to greater benefits to the youth, community, and the school organization.
In line with this, the Montessori De Sagrada Familia (MDSF) is being active in its goal to provide authentic education by following the curriculum guide with fidelity. The school organization is maximizing its workforce by selecting a set of subject area coordinators who will monitor the curriculum innovation. These supervisors devote a portion of their time to monitor the implementation to achieve its goals, address the challenges, and recognize the significance of change to the entire community. This is validated by enriching instructional assessment and developing student-centered activities that will cover the multiple intelligences of the Sagradans. Sagradan teachers also undergo a series of relevant trainings with clear vision and purpose of what the curriculum demands of them. One of which is to train them on how to assess the students. Formative and summative assessments are given full attention to ensure their alignment to the implemented curriculum. In doing so, MDSF is way ready to face the new school year with confidence and knowledge to unpack the implemented curriculum with excellence.
In sum, there are multifaceted factors and steps that can affect the quality of implementation and monitoring and one can achieve a quality implementation and monitoring through careful planning. Cliché it may sound but indeed, failure to plan is planning to fail.
Finally, Joseph Durlak once quoted “When it comes to implementation, what is worth doing is worth doing well”.
By Robert C. Aquino