Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Tessa Gray
    Is the curriculum to blame?
    6 August
    Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

    Checklist My neighbour has transferred two of her children to a local fee-paying school that administers Cambridge curriculum. Several things fall out of that – paying for access to education and a view that a more structured/prescriptive curriculum is helping students’ achievement - more so than a curriculum that is 'open to interpretation'.

    Here’s a great read, Developing a local curriculum (NZC Online blog) from Bede Gilmore where he outlines a process at Winchester School, where they match curriculum delivery with the aspirations, values and desires for/of their students. He also asks what's more important, skills or knowledge and references Shane Kennedy's post, Curriculum, the culprit?

    What do you think? Is our curriculum 'too open' for interpretation and reliant on individual teacher knowledge and experience, would a curriculum with specific content help build teacher confidence and consistency or is it not that simple? What does curriculum design look like at your place?

    CCO Creative Commons image source: Pixabay

    Loving the passion Mister_Roberts, sad to hear another teaching leaving the profession. Complicated as it is, yes we will always have a variety of beliefs about how students learn, and perspectives about what is necessary to teach - as well as a diverse range of teaching methodologies that reflect those beliefs and perspectives. 

    You've mentioned your rich network - being able to have the valuable conversations and I agree, it's important to have shared understandings (within and between schools/kura) of the terminology/language used, as well as intended outcomes for our students. We also need open conversations about the really big stuff, like what we want our students to be capable of and what we want for them in a modern world - so that long term shifts happen on a larger scale across New Zealand. 

    Sound waves

    In the meantime, there is some specific PLD support for teachers to become more confident and capable to implement the new Digital Technologies content knowledge. I've enjoyed the videos and resources in the pīkau (toolkits)  from Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko and look forward to the next pīkau that will specifically unpack the progress outcomes. Those embarking or excelling in this area, don't miss out on Ki te Ahikāroa (local meet ups) across the country too.

    Another worm....If we understand how our students prefer to learn (and learn best) and want our students to be innovative, critical and creative thinkers, where/how does learner agency (one of CORE's Ten Trends 2018), play-based learning, student inquiry fit? Is this a tension?

    Image source: Wikipedia public domain

    - By Tessa Gray
      • Mister_Roberts
        By Mister_Roberts
        Aug 7

        I absolutely agree our curriculum is way too open for interpretation and individual teacher knowledge/experience.  You just put in to words what I have been thinking these last few years and highlighted the problem in our curriculum.  At NCEA we have a very "thin" sentence which we are to interpret and then teach and assess how we think the students do in achieving said thin sentence.  Very experienced teachers get frustrated with all the interpretations, software, skills etc.  On the other hand I don't think one specific direction is correct either.  You need a middle ground, for example, here are three ways to tackle this assessment.  Here are the 3 software packages you could use, here are the three sets of skills you should teach . . . blah blah etc etc.  That's how I would do it. I have already complained about the new Level 2 trial standards: lots of new content, absolutely zero support in how to deliver it - and thats pretty much what they have done with the new level 1.  Yes, they have some exemplars - but providing "answers" does really guide teachers through a rich teaching and learning experience for the kids they teach.  As a solo teacher at my school curriculum development was me trialling all the new stuff because I love change and diversity and hate the old standards.  HOwever other than the DTTA forums and hub meetings thats all the consultation I had and many of us rely heavily on that contact.

        I'll be honest, 10 years of constant changing and updating our NZ DT curriculum - no time to consolidate and familiarise selves with content, also lack of opportunities to help others develop this curriculum have led to my decision to leave teaching.  Friday is my last day after 14 years excelling in DT teaching.

         

         

        • Tessa Gray
          By Tessa Gray
          Aug 20

          Loving the passion Mister_Roberts, sad to hear another teaching leaving the profession. Complicated as it is, yes we will always have a variety of beliefs about how students learn, and perspectives about what is necessary to teach - as well as a diverse range of teaching methodologies that reflect those beliefs and perspectives. 

          You've mentioned your rich network - being able to have the valuable conversations and I agree, it's important to have shared understandings (within and between schools/kura) of the terminology/language used, as well as intended outcomes for our students. We also need open conversations about the really big stuff, like what we want our students to be capable of and what we want for them in a modern world - so that long term shifts happen on a larger scale across New Zealand. 

          Sound waves

          In the meantime, there is some specific PLD support for teachers to become more confident and capable to implement the new Digital Technologies content knowledge. I've enjoyed the videos and resources in the pīkau (toolkits)  from Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko and look forward to the next pīkau that will specifically unpack the progress outcomes. Those embarking or excelling in this area, don't miss out on Ki te Ahikāroa (local meet ups) across the country too.

          Another worm....If we understand how our students prefer to learn (and learn best) and want our students to be innovative, critical and creative thinkers, where/how does learner agency (one of CORE's Ten Trends 2018), play-based learning, student inquiry fit? Is this a tension?

          Image source: Wikipedia public domain

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