Revisting, revitalising and renewing a conceptual framework for inquiry in light of Australian Curriculum Curriculum Coordinators Network 4th May 2012 Facilitated by Deb Vietri
Why are MacDonald’s Hamburgers bad for you but my Mum’s hamburgers are healthy?
Teachers are designers. An essential act of our profession is the crafting of curriculum and learning experiences to meet specified purposes. Like people in other design professions…designers in education must be mindful of their audiences. (Client centred) Clearly, students are our primary clients, given that the effectiveness of their deigns is ultimately determined by their achievement of desired learnings. Wiggins and McTighe 2006 p13
As in all the design professions, standards inform and shape our work…The teacher as designer is similarly constrained. WE are not free to teach any topic we choose by any means. Rather, we are guided by national, state, district or institutional standards that specify what students should know and be able to do. These standards provide a useful framework to help us identify teaching and learning priorities and guide our design of curriculum and assessments.
In addition to external standards , we must also factor in the needs of our many and varied students when designing learning experiences. For example, diverse student interests, developmental levels, large classes, and previous achievements must always shape our thinking about the learning activities, assignments and assessments.
Melbourne Declaration Goal 1:Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence Goal 2:All young Australians become: – successful learners– confident and creative individuals – active and informed citizens
National policy backgroundpromoting world class curriculum and assessment a solid foundation in skills and knowledge on which further learning and adult life can be built deep knowledge and skills that will enable advanced learning and an ability to create new ideas and translate them into practical applications general capabilities that underpin flexible and critical thinking, a capacity to work with others and an ability to move across subject disciplines to develop new expertise http://www.curriculum.edu.au/mceetya/melbourne_declaration,25979.html
The big question!!!! Assessment No comment!!!!
“We need to change the focus of the curriculum and instruction from teaching topics to ‘using’ topics to teach and assess deeper, conceptual understanding. Deep knowledge transfers across time and cultures and provides a conceptual structure for thinking about related and new ideas. Erickson, H. Lynn. (2002) Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction, Teaching Beyond the Facts. Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, California.
Throughlines/conceptual approach “…Throughlines (concepts) can be a valuable teaching tool. They help students to see the purposes that underlie their daily work, make connections among various topics and assignments, and track their own developing understandings” Tina Blythe1998 ‘The Teaching for Understanding Guide’
Throughline Examples Growing up great and safe Belonging in a community The World we live in is constantly changing The natural/living world and universe demands understanding and respect
Throughline Examples Responsibility and society Responsibility and relationships Environmental sustainability Energy and transformation Change over time Cultural diversity Health and wellbeing Human enterprise (people and resources)
Community Profile: What is important for our students to know? Curriculum Directions: Big ideas in AusVELS Student Voice: What do our students want to learn about? Big ideas/concepts Throughlines Topics Understandings, knowledge, skills
Community Profile TASK How would you describe; • Your students • Local community/families What do students bring to the learning? What are the characteristics of these groups? What are their prior experiences- strengths, gaps, needs
Student Voice • At the curriculum design level • What do you think is important to learn? • What are you really interested in learning about? • At the unit design level • What do you already know about this topic? • What really intrigues you about this topic? • What would you like to find out more about?
Big Ideas in AusVELS TASK Use the introductions or overview statements to identify the big ideas/concepts in each of the curriculum areas of VELS/AusVELS/Australian Curriculum Record on individual cards to use for bundling later on
Where is the content for units drawn from? AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM • Science • History • Geography (DRAFT) • Health and PE shaping paper • Technology shaping paper VELS DISCIPLINE BASED LEARNING • Science • Humanities • History • Geography • Economics • The Arts (some) • LOTE (some) SOCIAL, PHYSICAL AND PERSONAL LEARNING • Healthand PE • Personal Learning (some) • Interpersonal Learning (some) • Civics and Citizenship • INTERDISCIPINARY • DCT
‘Processing’ Domains • English and Maths • Personal Learning and Interpersonal Development • Interdisciplinary domains- communication, thinking, ICT and DCT Many of these domains are addressed through your pedagogy.
Definition- Erickson A concept is an organising idea; a mental construct… Timeless Universal Abstract and broad Represented by one or two words Examples show common attributes.
Examples of ‘big concepts’ Sustainability Diversity Change (cause and effect) Systems Relationships Interdependence
Conceptual approach Topics selected in order to develop conceptual understandings about important ideas over time. Identify what’s important for your students. Identify the big ideas and concepts. Plan for development over P-6.
Key features of generative topics- Tina Blythe Central to one or more domains Issues within the topic are also of interest to professionals in the field Interesting to students Interesting to the teacher Accessible Offer opportunities for multiple connections- they can always be explored more and more deeply.
Taking it further In level groups use auditing tools to help you generate topics in each of the throughlines Record The throughline Topic nutshell description of topic Generative/rich question that would drive the topic VELS/Australian Curriculum links
Cross curriculum perspectives • Why are these areas included? • What do you think is important for students to know about: • Sustainability • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia • How is your school already embedding these perspectives? Embedded approach- not bolt on