Keynote Address: Curriculum Symposium November 14, 2006
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Keynote Address: Curriculum Symposium November 14, 2006 John Tait. Name of presentation. This presentation. What is “curriculum”? Stages of curriculum development: a model Who leads the curriculum?. Definitions.

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Keynote Address: Curriculum Symposium November 14, 2006 John Tait

Name of presentation

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This presentation

  • What is “curriculum”?

  • Stages of curriculum development: a model

  • Who leads the curriculum?

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  • The teaching requirements (contents, standards) set by a central education body

  • The set of courses offered by a school

  • The collective teaching, learning and assessment materials that are available for a course

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  • The requirements of a course setting standards, levels, learning outcomes and assessment strategies. These are grouped into units or modules and the curriculum is therefore seen as a collection of units of modules

  • What the school and teachers plan to teach

Exercise: Which definition would you choose as the best and why?

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  • What do teachers plan to teach to students as well as new skills in Science, Mathematics, Arabic, English, Islamic Studies, Social Studies?

  • Are these therefore part of the curriculum?

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  • Exercise: Imagine a KG child’s first day at school. He doesn’t really know much about school and comes with an open mind, wondering what will happen. He doesn’t even know about “learning” although he is very capable of it

    • Who will he learn from that day?

    • Where will he learn that day

    • What will his mother ask him when he gets home?

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Influences on Learning

  • Students

  • Teachers

  • Environment

  • Parents

  • Systems

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During kindergarten and grades 1 & 2pupils learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experiences and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development. They learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They begin to learn about their own and other people's feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and older people. As members of a class and school community, they learn social skills such as how to share, take turns, play, help others, resolve simple arguments and resist bullying. They begin to take an active part in the life of their school and its neighbourhood.

Extract from key stage 1 of the UK Curriculum

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So now we can see that there are things that children learn just by being at school with other children; by talking with their peers about any and every topic which is relevant to their lives, by observing the behavior and overhearing the conversations of teachers, other students and visitors to the school, by noticing what is given importance and what isn’t and by learning to react appropriately to new situations. These lessons will stay with them for the rest of their lives because they are about learning how to be a successful member of society.

This is sometimes called “The Hidden Curriculum”

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In answer to our starting question “What is Curriculum?” we can now understand two simple definitions which encompass a very broad view of the curriculum.

FORMAL CURRICULUM: What the school and teachers plan to teachINFORMAL CURRICULUM: What is “taught” or learned incidentally

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Stages of Curriculum Development

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  • “How does the environment (physical and social) affect the design of a school curriculum”

    Focus question:How does your school curriculum reflect Qatar and your local environment?

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What is the purpose of your curriculum?

  • To do the basics well?

  • To create leaders?

  • To create problem solvers and creative thinkers?

  • To - - - - - - - ?

    Where is your school purpose expressed?

    How does your school curriculum (planning, teaching and assessment) reflect your purpose?

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Selecting Your Team

  • What are the key characteristics that the people in your team will need for you to successfully implement your curriculum goals?

    Imagine that there are no barriers:

    What would be the characteristics of the ideal Principal, Academic VP, Curriculum Co-ordinator?

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  • Think of the curriculum as like a house where the Curriculum Standards are the foundations and the superstructure.

  • Who decides the design of the walls and where the windows and doors are and which way the house will face?

  • Who decides the colours of the rooms, the furnishings – the things that make the house comfortable and relevant for the occupants?

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Design (continued)

  • Who are the occupants?

    • Teachers and students?

  • What do the occupants do in the house?

    • Teach and Learn?

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  • Successful learning is the key purpose of the design of the curriculum

  • If 30 hours per week are taken up with the teaching of specific subjects, where do you teach values, leadership, citizenship etc?

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  • People – Selecting the right people, sharing the plan, training them

  • Tools – A great plan with poor tools will never be effective e.g. A learning resource centre without books

  • Supervision – The leader’s role is to oversee the big picture. Knowing the small details will also improve the overall quality.

    Exercise:You have twenty strips of paper outlining different curriculum tasks and a three sheets with a different curriculum management role on each. Stick them on the sheet that you think is the most appropriate and rank them in order of importance. You should aim for a fairly even spread of tasks across the three roles.

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  • Once designed a curriculum should be reviewed and improved

  • Environments change over time

  • Repairs need to be made

    Who would carry out these tasks?

    How do you know where you are now?

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  • The six stages of curriculum development can be applied in micro form to individual teachers and departments

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Who Leads the Curriculum?

  • You have a series of statements about curriculum from a number of countries that are undergoing curriculum development. Please read them through.

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Focus Questions

  • Which one comes from Qatar?

  • What similarities do you notice?

  • Think about what all these documents say about tasks and role and the exercises that we did about the house and the five key curriculum tasks. As a group write two sentences about who leads the curriculum.

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  • “Teachers bring the curriculum to life and make it real and exciting for your child” NZ Ministry of Education

    How will you as school leaders assist them to do that?

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Challenge and Enjoyment

“Young people should find their learning challenging, engaging and motivating. The curriculum should encourage high aspirations and ambitions for all. At all stages, learners of all aptitudes and abilities should experience an appropriate level of challenge, to enable each individual to achieve his or her potential. They should be active in their learning and have opportunities to develop and demonstrate their creativity. There should be support to enable young people to sustain their effort.”

Scottish “Curriculum forExcellence”

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