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So the question is: How are we supposed to design a curriculum that develops these sort of competencies – and also covers the National Curriculum Programmes.

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Presentation on theme: "So the question is: How are we supposed to design a curriculum that develops these sort of competencies – and also covers the National Curriculum Programmes."— Presentation transcript:

1 So the question is: How are we supposed to design a curriculum that develops these sort of competencies – and also covers the National Curriculum Programmes of Study? And how do we turn it into Mick Waters’ feast? So the question is: How are we supposed to design a curriculum that develops these sort of competencies – and also covers the National Curriculum Programmes of Study? And how do we turn it into Mick Waters’ feast? © Curriculum Foundation1

2 You may recognise this document. It’s the new National Curriculum for England – due to be implemented in You may recognise this document. It’s the new National Curriculum for England – due to be implemented in You may think that you don’t have to ask the question about competencies and the National Curriculum – because the new National Curriculum doesn’t have any competencies. But there are some – even though they are not explicit. And anyway, as a professional, you will want to ensure that your pupils have the very best curriculum, so you would want to include them anyway! © Curriculum Foundation2

3 The new National Curriculum states that it will: Promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development Engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement Clarify pupils’ thinking and organisation of ideas Develop pupils’ understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas Enable pupils to: collect, present and analyse data Solve problems develop the ability to give well-structured descriptions and explanations The new National Curriculum states that it will: Promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development Engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement Clarify pupils’ thinking and organisation of ideas Develop pupils’ understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas Enable pupils to: collect, present and analyse data Solve problems develop the ability to give well-structured descriptions and explanations This list may not be quite as full or ambitious as the list you have compiled as part of Unit 2 – and is certainly not as comprehensive or explicit as the list of competencies in the high performing countries such as Finland, Singapore an New Zealand. However, there is more to the new National Curriculum than “facts to be learned and knowledge to be stored”. And so the question remains: This list may not be quite as full or ambitious as the list you have compiled as part of Unit 2 – and is certainly not as comprehensive or explicit as the list of competencies in the high performing countries such as Finland, Singapore an New Zealand. However, there is more to the new National Curriculum than “facts to be learned and knowledge to be stored”. And so the question remains: © Curriculum Foundation3

4 “How do we put all these seemingly disparate elements together to make one coherent curriculum?” And how do we make such a curriculum interesting for our students? Or, even better, make it so interesting that learning becomes irresistible? “How do we put all these seemingly disparate elements together to make one coherent curriculum?” And how do we make such a curriculum interesting for our students? Or, even better, make it so interesting that learning becomes irresistible? © Curriculum Foundation4

5 The answer is …. ….. But how can this be possible? (or even likely!) © Curriculum Foundation5

6 If you think of the curriculum as a tree, above the ground you have the ‘branches of learning’: Science, Humanities, the Arts, etc. If you follow one of these branches, it will divide into smaller ones, or twigs. These are the subjects. So Science divides in Physics, Chemistry and Biology; the Humanities into History, Geography and Citizenship. Do you get the idea? At the end of these smaller branches are the leaves. These are the individual bits of learning that we find in Programmes of Study or in syllabuses. If you think of the curriculum as a tree, above the ground you have the ‘branches of learning’: Science, Humanities, the Arts, etc. If you follow one of these branches, it will divide into smaller ones, or twigs. These are the subjects. So Science divides in Physics, Chemistry and Biology; the Humanities into History, Geography and Citizenship. Do you get the idea? At the end of these smaller branches are the leaves. These are the individual bits of learning that we find in Programmes of Study or in syllabuses. © Curriculum Foundation6

7 Magnetism 7

8 So this is a model, a way of thinking about how the various subjects fit together and how learning is arranged around them. But what is missing from the model? So this is a model, a way of thinking about how the various subjects fit together and how learning is arranged around them. But what is missing from the model? Yes, of course. A tree has roots. And you can guess what the roots are ! © Curriculum Foundation8

9 Yes, the roots are the competencies. As we said in Unit 2, there is not just one “right” set of competencies. Different countries and different schools compile lists that suit their needs and circumstances. You may recall the UNESCO list of 21 st Century Competencies: Critical thinking and problem solving Communication Co-operation Creativity They form the roots of the curriculum Yes, the roots are the competencies. As we said in Unit 2, there is not just one “right” set of competencies. Different countries and different schools compile lists that suit their needs and circumstances. You may recall the UNESCO list of 21 st Century Competencies: Critical thinking and problem solving Communication Co-operation Creativity They form the roots of the curriculum © Curriculum Foundation9

10 Critical thinking and problem- solving Communication Co-operation Creativity Magnetism © Curriculum Foundation10

11 Of course, within this botanical model, a tree can’t grow roots unless it has some leaves to carry out photosynthesis. And it can’t grow leaves without roots taking in moisture and nutrients. It is not an “either- or” situation. It needs both. And our argument within Curriculum Design is that skills need the knowledge contexts of subjects in order to be developed. This was the argument put forward by ED Hirsch that we explored in Unit 2. We also quoted Brian Male in Unit 2: “You can’t learn to solve a problem unless you have a problem to solve. You can’t learn to think critically unless you have something to think about. You can’t learn to work in a team unless the team has some activity to engage in. The curriculum subjects provide a rich source of problems, things to think about and activities.”. Of course, within this botanical model, a tree can’t grow roots unless it has some leaves to carry out photosynthesis. And it can’t grow leaves without roots taking in moisture and nutrients. It is not an “either- or” situation. It needs both. And our argument within Curriculum Design is that skills need the knowledge contexts of subjects in order to be developed. This was the argument put forward by ED Hirsch that we explored in Unit 2. We also quoted Brian Male in Unit 2: “You can’t learn to solve a problem unless you have a problem to solve. You can’t learn to think critically unless you have something to think about. You can’t learn to work in a team unless the team has some activity to engage in. The curriculum subjects provide a rich source of problems, things to think about and activities.”. © Curriculum Foundation11

12 So skills need the knowledge contexts that are provided by subjects. Of course, subjects are important in their own right, and not just as providers of contexts for skills. They are the distillations of human thought and understanding. And as skills need subjects, so the learning of subjects is enhanced when they are approached through the development of competencies. When learners start to think critically about a subject, investigate it, communicate about it, solve problems within it, they start to build deeper understanding of the subject. This was pointed out some time ago by the next writer about education. Do you recognise him? So skills need the knowledge contexts that are provided by subjects. Of course, subjects are important in their own right, and not just as providers of contexts for skills. They are the distillations of human thought and understanding. And as skills need subjects, so the learning of subjects is enhanced when they are approached through the development of competencies. When learners start to think critically about a subject, investigate it, communicate about it, solve problems within it, they start to build deeper understanding of the subject. This was pointed out some time ago by the next writer about education. Do you recognise him? © Curriculum Foundation12


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