A director of curriculum and instruction focuses on three separate but interrelated responsibilities: curriculum development, improvement of instruction and administration, according to “Educational Leadership.” The time allotted to each of these tasks depends on the school district’s needs and priorities. In fulfilling his responsibilities, the director of curriculum and instruction must bridge the superintendent’s directives, his goals as director of curriculum and instruction and the principal's needs and priorities.
Asking general questions about a candidate’s background provides insights into how he overcomes challenges and his priorities for the position. Examples include: “What experience have you had in curriculum and instruction?” “Why do you want to be a director of curriculum and instruction?” “What do you see as the number one priority for this position?" and “What capabilities should a director of curriculum and instruction have?” Another question is: “Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?”
Changing Curriculum and Improving Instruction
The director of curriculum must not only modify curriculum and improve instruction, he must also determine how these changes will be implemented. To learn how the candidate will approach this task, the interviewer should ask: “How will you communicate curricular changes to all stakeholders?” and “How will you ensure these changes are actualized?”
The interviewer should discern the candidate’s philosophy and approach to curriculum development and instruction. Ask questions such as: “How would you ensure the district's curriculum and teachers' instructional methods, and provide students with the knowledge to meet content standards?” “How would you bridge research to practice?” and “How would you ensure curriculum and instruction for special education and English as a second language students to meet their individual needs as well as state standards?” Also ask: “What are the current needs of the field?” and “How would you think differently about curriculum to achieve social, civic, vocational and cognitive outcomes for students?”
Evaluating Curriculum and Instruction
This position requires assessment of current curriculum and instructional practices and newly implemented curriculum and instructional practices. Therefore, the candidate should answer questions such as: “How will you ensure assessment provides valid information concerning student learning?” “How will you implement testing programs?” “How will you establish processes to assess existing curriculum and instructional practice?” and “How will you assess changes in curriculum and instructional practice?”
Another role of the director of curriculum and instruction is to conduct research pertaining to the field. Suitable questions for this area include: “How would you conduct research on curriculum and instruction for our district?” and “How would you coordinate with national and state research initiatives?”
The director of curriculum and instruction oversees funding from proposals and grants. To ascertain a candidate’s capabilities in this area, ask: "How do you learn of funding for educational projects?" "How do you keep abreast of governmental or institutional changes in focus?" and “How would you encourage faculty and staff to develop proposals?”
Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Supervisors
The director of curriculum and instruction also serves in a supervisory role to both the superintendent and board of directors. To reveal how he would fulfill those duties, ask: “How would you keep the superintendent and board of directors informed of important trends in the field?” “How would you approach these individuals concerning major changes in programs or policies?” and “How would you handle specific requests from these individuals?”
- Linda Marsal, DDS; Office of Special Education Programs: IDEA Partnerships; Washington, D.C.
- National Middle School Association: Sample Interview Questions and Approaches
- ASCD: “Educational Leadership"; The Director of Curriculum and Instruction; John Mickelson et al.; 1969