Designing a curriculum for the future
Secondary Schools
Office of Learning and Teaching
Student Learning Whole School
Self Assessment Tool
• Learner at the centre
• Leadership
• Integration of student learning initiatives
• Organisational structures and learning
environment
• Performance and development culture
Student Learning Whole School
Self Assessment Tool
Questions for reflection
• Whole school level
– Individually, rate your current situation against each of
the five areas.
– What’s your evidence for your placement?
– Compare your ratings within your team.
– Finalise your school rating.
• Groups within your school
– Would you give the same rating to each of the groups
within your school? Why/why not?
– What can you learn from those groups that
have/haven’t made progress?
Why bother?
Our curriculum challenges
The economic challenge is to develop in
young people the skills, knowledge and
personal qualities they need for a world
where work is undergoing rapid and longterm change
The technological challenge is to enable
young people to make their way with
confidence in a world that is being shaped
by technologies which are evolving more
quickly than at any time in history.
The social challenge is to provide forms of
education that enable young people to engage
positively and confidently with far-reaching
processes of social and cultural change.
The personal challenge is to develop the
unique capacities of all young people, and to
provide a basis on which they can build lives
that are purposeful and fulfilling.
Creative and Cultural Education- All Our Futures Summary, 2000
Prepare our students for high levels of challenge,
complexity and individual responsibility
Two types of knowledge
‘FRAGILE’ KNOWLEDGE
‘GENERATIVE’ KNOWLEDGE
can be:
focuses on:
• Missing (exposed to, but • Retention of knowledge
can’t remember)
AND
• Inert (it’s there but you can’t • Understanding of knowledge
do anything with it)
AND
• Naïve (simplistic,
• Active use of knowledge.
stereotypical or wrong)
• Ritualistic (pattern useful
(David Perkins)
for school task, nothing
more)
requires ‘GOOD’ THINKING
A good performer in Math had this to say
about her strategy:
I know what to do by looking at the
examples. If there are only two numbers I
subtract. If there are lots of numbers I add.
If there are just two numbers and one is
smaller than the other it is a hard problem.
I divide to see if it comes out even and if it
doesn’t I multiply.
‘Smart Schools’ David Perkins (1992) p.25
Desforges and Cockburn (1987) reported on
research from UK - They noted that students
used considerable ingenuity to avoid thinking
about classroom tasks wherever possible.
Students were predominantly task focused,
and were more interested in completing a
task rather than comprehending it.
Is this true for your students?
If yes, where did they get this view?
What do your students value?
What are your students’ perceptions of:
• the role of the teacher?
• the role of the student?
• what is effective learning?
They work to pass and not to know, alas they
pass and do not know!
Bertrand Russell
MY PERCEPTIONS OF MYSELF AS A LEARNER
Amanda McGraw
Building learning capacity
What is it?
• learning skills?
• learning dispositions?
Ready, willing and able
Positive learning dispositions
Resilient
Resourceful
Reflective
Reciprocal
Curious
Questioning
Clear thinking
Collaborative
Adventurous
Open-minded
Thoughtful
Independent
Determined
Playful
Self-knowing
Open to
feedback
Flexible
Imaginative
Methodical
Attentive
Observant
Integrating
Opportunisitic
Empathic
Focused
Intuitive
Self-evaluative
Imitative
Guy Claxton, 2006
Building on what students know and
are able to do
(Vygotsky)
Instruction is powerful only when it is sufficiently
precise and focused to build directly on what
students already know and to take them to the
next level. While a teacher does and must do
many things, the most critical is designing and
organising instruction so that it is focused.
Without focus, instruction is inefficient and
students spend too much time on completing
activities that are too easy and do not involve
new learning or too little time on tasks that are
too difficult and involve too much new learning
or relearning.
‘Breakthrough’ Fullan,Hill & Crevola (2006)
Student engagement/disengagement
• What is the current level of student
engagement in Years 7-10?
• Does it vary from year level to year level?
• Is it an issue for all students, for some
students?
• What do you currently do to address
engagement?
• Should engagement be a prerequisite or an
outcome?
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
• Changing world
• Generative knowledge/Deep
understanding
• Building learning capacity
– skills and dispositions
• Building on what students
know and are able to do
• Student engagement
Can the Victorian Essential Learning Standards
assist us to address some of these challenges?
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
Three core, interrelated strands:
Physical, Personal and Social Learning
Discipline-based Learning
Interdisciplinary Learning
Level 6
Level 5
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Dimensions in all domains are
based on an underlying
continuum of learning.
Standards define what students
should know and be able to do
at different levels.
Progression points provide
examples of what typical
progress towards the standard
may look like.
The learner at the centre
Requires whole school
curriculum planning
… and attention to the
learning culture of the
school.
A curriculum for the future ….
Which direction?
Where are we now?
What are the issues,
dilemmas and
challenges we face?
Where do we want to
be?
There is no such thing as ‘best practice’
or even ‘next practice’ – in abstract. You
cannot say what is good teaching, good
school organisation, good leadership,
(or even good curriculum?) until you have
specified what it is you want
youngsters to have gained, in the light
of the particular world they are being
readied for.
Guy Claxton 2006
OUR EDUCATIVE PURPOSE
What is powerful
to
learn?
Victorian
Essential Learning
Standards
What is powerful
learning and
what promotes it?
LEARNER
How do we know
it has been learnt?
Assessment Advice
Principles of
Learning
and Teaching
Who do we
report to?
Students
Parents
Colleagues
School
System
Curriculum Planning Modules
Module 1 - Whole school curriculum planning
to suit our students
Module 2 - Planning programs for cohorts of
students
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Activity 1.2
Activity 1.3
Activity 1.4
Activity 1.5
Activity 1.6
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
School context
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Drivers for student learning
Curriculum design
Learning, teaching and
assessment
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
• Use template 1.1B in your school
team to audit your current practices.
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
Activity 1.2
School context
Activity 1.3
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Activity 1.4
Drivers for student learning
Activity 1.5
Curriculum design
Activity 1.6
Learning, teaching and
assessment
SCHOOL CONTEXT
Where are we at with student learning?
Strengths
Learning
Outcomes
Engagement
and well being
Transitions
and pathways
Areas for
improvement
Equity funding,
ESL funding
MIPS funding
LSF funding
Other……
School Context
• What are our goals and targets?
• What are our key improvement
strategies?
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
Activity 1.2
School context
Activity 1.3
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Activity 1.4
Drivers for student learning
Activity 1.5
Curriculum design
Activity 1.6
Learning, teaching and
assessment
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
Everyone (leadership team and
teachers) must be familiar with:
• characteristics of learners
(adolescents)
• domains
• dimensions
• purpose of each domain &
dimension
• standards
• learning focus statements
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
Activity 1.2
School context
Activity 1.3
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Activity 1.4
Drivers for student learning
Activity 1.5
Curriculum design
Activity 1.6
Learning, teaching and
assessment
Curriculum drivers
Curriculum drivers:
• are a way of structuring learning to
connect domains and dimensions in the
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
• reflect our students’ learning needs and
provide a structure for them to achieve the
Standards
Drivers for student learning
Curriculum drivers may reflect:
• what we want our school to stand for
• the diverse needs, backgrounds,
perspectives, interests, achievements
and ways of learning of our students
• the ‘big ideas’ that we want our students
to engage with deeply
• the future learning needs of our students
• particular domains
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Drivers for student learning
– some examples
Environmental sustainability
Studies of Asia
Globalisation
Multiculturalism
Healthy school
Civics and citizenship – leadership
The Arts
Humanities – some essential questions
• Why do people seek to discover what is unknown?
• How does learning about other cultures help us understand
ourselves?
• What does it mean to ‘come of age’ and how does it differ across
culture, time and gender?
• Can we all be individuals as equal parts of a whole?
• What keeps people of different cultures from living/working
successfully together?
• How does reflection on your work and thinking help you
understand?
• How do we find out the truth about things that happened long ago
and far away? How do you see through bias?
(from Ron Ritchhart ‘Intellectual Character’)
English – some essential questions
From English KLA – GWSC
• How does studying our texts inform us about the
world we live in?
• How does the study of literature (our texts) deepen
our understanding of the human condition?
• How does reflecting on my English skills in journals
and reflective pieces improve my ability to
communicate?
• How does being able to use the conventions of
English improve our ability to communicate?
• How does the use of diverse spoken language skills
aid in communicating with an audience?
English – some essential questions, cont…
• How does knowing how to create a dynamic
interaction of various spoken language skills
improve our ability to engage an audience?
• How does writing about my experiences differ
from other kinds of writing?
• How should imagination be used in
developing skills in the English language?
• How does studying an issue develop our
ability to think using the English language?
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
Activity 1.2
School context
Activity 1.3
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Activity 1.4
Drivers for student learning
Activity 1.5
Curriculum design
Activity 1.6
Learning, teaching and
assessment
Possible design options
• Incorporate the interdisciplinary and physical,
personal and social strands of the Standards into
existing discipline-based subjects and broaden
their focus in this way.
• Integrated approach where one or more disciplines
and other relevant domains are combined and
addressed through key questions or themes.
• Combine all three strands in the context of extended
projects that students are to complete.
• Mix of integrated and domain specific subjects
• Different approaches at different year levels
• A mix of approaches at each year level
• PLUS others
What might a future curriculum look like?
Learning would be structured mainly through
projects. Some projects would be individual,
while many would be group-based.
Problems and goals would not be completely
predefined by the curriculum. Students would
repeatedly practise identifying and solving
problems, rather than having them placed before
them.
Learning would take place in a range of contexts
and use a range of methods. Projects would not
all be research-based or within a traditional
classroom environment. Students would be
involved in doing as much as in thinking or
knowing.
Alongside more traditional, teacher-centred
assessment, students’ work would be evaluated by
field experts, peers, parents and so on. It would be
evaluated for different kinds of skills and
knowledge - interpersonal, thinking strategies, selforganisation, depth of understanding and so on.
Thinking and self assessment would be embedded
across the curriculum. Students would focus
particularly on learning to make connections
between different contexts - the transfer and
application of knowledge across different domains.
Skills would be revisited and practised over time, so
that knowledge gained earlier in an educational
career could be applied creatively to new problems.
Students would gain depth of
understanding in a number of
disciplines, or domains of knowledge,
including traditional academic subjects.
They would also learn explicitly how to
combine interdisciplinary knowledge in
completing a project goal.
The Creative Age- Knowledge and Skills
for the New Economy. DEMOS 1999.
Curriculum Models
Look at different curriculum design models
from various schools.
•What are their strengths?
•What are their limitations?
Community views?
Implementation issues?
Reporting (as distinct from teaching)
• Who will report to parents on each of the
domains?
• Consider:
– elements of domains and dimensions covered in
each subject/program
– identification of teachers who will report on
particular domains and students
– coordination of information for reporting purposes
if more than one teacher has assessment
information on a domain/s for particular students
Transition Model for reporting against the Standards 2007 to 2008
2007
Minimum expectations
To report against the Standards
in:
 English
 Mathematics
 Health & Physical Education
 Personal Learning
 Civics & Citizenship
 The Humanities (Economics,
Geography, History)
 Communication
 ICT
 Other subjects to be reported
against the CSF
2008
Minimum expectations
To report against the Standards in:
 English
 Mathematics
 Health & Physical Education
 Personal Learning
 Civics & Citizenship
 The Humanities (Economics,
Geography, History)
 Communication
 ICT
 Interpersonal Development
 The Arts
 Languages Other Than English
 Science
 Design, Creativity & Technology
 Thinking Processes
Module 1 Whole school curriculum
planning to suit our students
Activity 1.1
Characteristics of effective whole
school curriculum planning
Activity 1.2
School context
Activity 1.3
Victorian Essential Learning
Standards
Activity 1.4
Drivers for student learning
Activity 1.5
Curriculum design
Activity 1.6
Learning, teaching and
assessment
The learner at the centre
What promotes powerful learning?
Principles of Learning and Teaching P-12
1.
The learning environment is supportive and productive
2.
The learning environment promotes independence,
interdependence and self-motivation
3.
Students’ needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are
reflected in the learning program
4.
Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels
of thinking and application
5.
Assessment practices are an integral part of teaching and
learning
6.
Learning connects strongly with communities and practice
beyond the classroom
How do we know if it has been learnt?
Identifying purpose of assessment is a key
consideration for curriculum planning:
•Assessment for learning – occurs when teachers use their
inferences about student learning to inform their teaching
(formative)
•Assessment as learning - occurs when students reflect on
and monitor their progress to inform their future learning
goals (formative)
•Assessment of learning – occurs when teachers use
evidence of student learning to make judgments about
student achievement against goals and standards
(summative)
Implementation
issues
Key questions to be explored
For next year?
• What is the most appropriate curriculum
design based on the learning needs of our
students and staff knowledge and expertise?
• Will the same curriculum design be
appropriate for all cohorts of students?
• How will we arrange students, staff and
resources to best implement our curriculum
design?
In two years?
In five years?
Evolution or revolution?
• ‘Steady as she goes’ with as little tinkering
as possible
• Continue with process of curriculum
change we have already begun and
incorporate changes as needed
• Use this as a catalyst to reconceptualise
our curriculum
…a big bang or evolutionary change?
Possible questions for reflection
• What are the existing structures in our school
that may be preventing us from moving forward?
• What is our plan for the next few years?
• What’s working for us? What’s working against
us?
• What do we need to do when we get back to
school?
• How do we build this into our Strategic Plan and
Annual Implementation Plan?
Student Learning Whole School Self
Assessment Tool
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