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Principled curriculum design SSAT Annual Science Conference 11 July, National Space Centre Tom Middlehurst, Head of Research, #ssatsci14.

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Presentation on theme: "Principled curriculum design SSAT Annual Science Conference 11 July, National Space Centre Tom Middlehurst, Head of Research, #ssatsci14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Principled curriculum design SSAT Annual Science Conference 11 July, National Space Centre Tom Middlehurst, Head of Research, #ssatsci14

2 Accountability: some context to curriculum design #ssatsci14

3 A measure of progress, KS2 to KS4: a score showing how much result vary above or below expected levels. Expected levels will score zero - and below expected levels will mean a minus score. Floor target will be half a grade below expected. The average of all students' progress across 8 subjects: 1.a double-weighted English element (Lang & Lit have parity – both must be taken) 2.a double-weighted maths element 3.three other EBacc subjects 4.three further "high value qualifications" Progress 8 and floor target #ssatsci14

4 Progress 8 Attainment 8 – the average grade students achieve in the same P8 subjects % English/Maths – the % of students who achieve a C+ in English (either Lit or Lang) and maths % Ebacc – the % of students who achieve Ebacc Looking to introduce a destination measure as well Three (or four?) other measures #ssatsci14

5 Outcomes beyond examinations #ssatsci14

6 Broad views on the philosophy of education (Williams, 1961)  Transmission of culture (e.g. Arnold)  Preparation for work (e.g. OECD)  Personal empowerment (e.g. Freire)  Preparation for citizenship (e.g. Council of Europe) Why do we educate young people? #ssatsci14

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8 Setting the scene #ssatsci14

9 Education Reform Act 1988 National curriculum Attainment targets Programmes of study Assessment arrangements Some ancient history #ssatsci14

10 1.It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State so to exercise the powers conferred by subsection (2) below as - a)to establish a complete National Curriculum as soon as is reasonably practicable (taking first the core subjects and then the other foundation subjects); and b)to revise that Curriculum whenever he considers it necessary or expedient to do so. Duties of the secretary of state #ssatsci14

11 2.The Secretary of State may by order specify in relation to each of the foundation subjects— a)such attainment targets; b)such programmes of study; and c)such assessment arrangements; 3.An order made under subsection (2) above may not require— a)that any particular period or periods of time should be allocated during any key stage to the teaching of any programme of study or any matter, skill or process forming part of it; or b)that provision of any particular kind should be made in school timetables for the periods to be allocated to such teaching during any such stage. #ssatsci14

12 What is curriculum? #ssatsci14

13 Curriculum: an evolving context  The courses taken (Scottish HE, late 17 th century)  Four questions (Tyler, 1949)  What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?  What educational experiences … are likely to attain these purposes?  How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?  How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?  “All the learning which is planned or guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually inside or outside the school.” (Kerr, 1968 p. 16)  “the school curriculum (in the wider sense) is essentially a selection from the culture of a society.” (Denis Lawton 1975 p. 7) #ssatsci14

14  “A curriculum is an attempt to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice.” (p. 5)  The proposal should have three parts: a)In planning b)In empirical study c)In relation to justification The role of teachers (Stenhouse 1975) #ssatsci14

15 A good curriculum is:  Balanced  Rigorous  Coherent  Vertically integrated  Appropriate  Focused  Relevant Wiliam’s principles of curriculum design #ssatsci14

16 Balanced #ssatsci14 “We are the first generation of educators who know we have no idea what we’re doing... Because we have no idea what is coming, we have to future proof our students, and the way to do that is with a broad and balanced curriculum”

17 Balanced The test of successful education is not the amount of knowledge that a pupil takes away from school, but his appetite to know and his capacity to learn. If the school sends out children with the desire for knowledge and some idea how to acquire it, it will have done its work. Too many leave school with the appetite killed and the mind loaded with undigested lumps of information. The good schoolmaster is known by the number of valuable topics which he declines to teach. (Sir Richard Livingstone, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, “The purpose in education” 1941) #ssatsci14

18 Discussion point How do we achieve a broad curriculum (across the school and in subjects) that prepares students for anything they might want to do in the future?

19  Disciplinary habits of mind are important, specific, powerful ways of thinking that are developed through sustained engagement with the discipline.  Mathematics: transformation and invariance  History: provenance and context  Statistics: dispersion as well as central tendency  Sociology: structure and agency Rigorous: #ssatsci14

20  Cognitive competencies  Cognitive processes and strategies  Knowledge  Creativity  Intra-personal competencies  Intellectual openness  Work ethic/conscientiousness  Positive core self-evaluation  Inter-personal competencies  Team-work  Leadership Pellegrino and Hilton (2012) Rigorous: #ssatsci14

21 Discussion point How can we be faithful to the discipline of our subject?

22  Subject-based curricula support disciplines but tend to undermine coherence across different aspects of learning  How can you make sure that the totality of students’ experiences reinforce one another? Coherent: #ssatsci14

23 Discussion point How can we ensure that the totality of students’ experiences reinforce each other?

24 In which order would you teach the areas of the following shapes (currently arranged alphabetically)?  Parallelogram - 3  Rectangle - 2  Square - 1  Trapezium - 5  Triangle - 4 Vertically integrated #ssatsci14

25 Universal –Addition before multiplication Natural –Multiplication before division –Differentiation before integration Arbitrary –Areas of triangles before areas of parallelograms Optional –The Romans before the Vikings Vertically integrated #ssatsci14

26 The “spiral curriculum.” If one respects the ways of thought of the growing child, if one is courteous enough to translate material into his logical forms and challenging enough to tempt him in advance, then it is possible to introduce him at an early age to the ideas and styles that in later life make an educated man. We might ask, as a criterion for any subject taught in primary school, whether, when fully developed, it is worth an adult’s knowing, and whether having known it as a child makes a person a better adult. If the answer to both questions is negative or ambiguous, then the matter is cluttering the curriculum. Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education Vertically integrated: #ssatsci14

27 Discussion point How does our curriculum promote progression over time?

28 28 Leverhulme Numeracy Research Programme Over 5 years, the increase in facility is 75%—an average of 15% per year. In other words, in a class of 30, only four or five children learn this each year. Appropriate – #ssatsci14

29 Discussion point How do we know we’re teaching the right content at the right stage?

30 30 1All material in the Universe is made of very small particles. 2Objects can affect other objects at a distance. 3Changing the movement of an object requires a net force acting on it. 4The total amount of energy in the Universe is always the same but energy can be transformed when things change or are made to happen. 5The composition of the Earth and its atmosphere and the processes occurring within them 6The solar system is a very small part of one of millions of galaxies in the Universe. 7Organisms are organised on a cellular basis. 8Organisms require a supply of energy and materials for which they are often dependent on or in competition with other organisms. 9Genetic information is passed from one generation of organisms to another. 10The diversity of organisms, living and extinct, is the result of evolution. Focused (ten big ideas) #ssatsci14

31 Discussion point How use our curriculum time parsimoniously? (cf big ideas)

32 About what to learn (Curriculum) About how to learn (Pedagogy) Degree of choice should be influenced by –Consequences (for the individual and for society) –Maturity Consequences of choices (and especially poor choices) about what is to be learned are generally greater than choices about how learning should be achieved, so –For younger learners, many if not most learning outcomes need to be non- negotiable. As they get older their wishes should become predominate their interests (progressive lowering of the “safety net”) –From the earliest age, however, learners should be involved in decisions about how they learn best. Relevant #ssatsci14

33  Intrinsic factors  What is the subject really like?  Authenticity of experience  Habits of mind  Developing identity (e.g., mathematics, plumbing)  Extrinsic factors  “Critical filters” for particular careers  Financial rewards  Consequences  Closing down of options (“leaky pipes”)  Sensitive periods Relevant #ssatsci14

34 Discussion point How do we contextualise the curriculum and give students informed choice about what they learn and how they learn it?

35 A good curriculum is:  Balanced  Rigorous  Coherent  Vertically integrated  Appropriate  Focused  Relevant Wiliam’s principles of curriculum design #ssatsci14


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