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Concurrency of Learning Annual Meeting of Association Leaders (Americas) Phoenix, Arizona. January 2010. Andrew Atkinson - Global Head of Diploma Programme.

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Presentation on theme: "Concurrency of Learning Annual Meeting of Association Leaders (Americas) Phoenix, Arizona. January 2010. Andrew Atkinson - Global Head of Diploma Programme."— Presentation transcript:

1 Concurrency of Learning Annual Meeting of Association Leaders (Americas) Phoenix, Arizona. January 2010. Andrew Atkinson - Global Head of Diploma Programme Development (Cardiff) Gloria McDowell – Regional Head of School Services (IB Americas)

2 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Who are we? Who is our audience? Page 2 Andy Atkinson Head of Diploma Programme Development Academic Division, Cardiff. UK. Gloria McDowell Regional Head of School Services (Americas) School Services Division Quick survey of our audience Where are you from? Roles in schools? Roles with the IB? Candidate or authorized? DP courses for all or some? Traditional or block schedules? State or private? Mission driven or results driven? Fans or uncertain of the MYP?

3 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Page 3 Program development creates the “what” of all IB programs... To school services, which creates the global ways of doing things, the “how” of all IB programs.. To regional offices, which uses the processes to create a nurturing relationship with schools. Relevant new structures

4 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Page 4 Consistency across all three regions

5 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Content of this presentation Page 5 Concurrency of Learning  Understand what we mean by ‘concurrency’  What IB beliefs and values underpin concurrency?  Where in our documents is this stated and explained  Words of advice at subject level  Scheduling: issues and challenges  Authorization and evaluation

6 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What do we understand by the term ‘Concurrency of Learning?’ Page 6 IB definition of the concurrency of learning A principle promoted in the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme. Students deal with a balanced curriculum each year in which the required subjects are studied simultaneously.

7 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What pedagogical beliefs underpin CoL? Page 7 Historical Perspectives “The teaching of minds well informed rather than minds well stuffed” (Alec Peterson Former Director General) The “interconnectedness” of learning throughout our history of the IB. CAS was to connect experiential learning with intellectual learning. TOK was to make connections of knowledge issues with subjects throughout the course. PYP and MYP encourage even more explicitly these connections and breaking down of disciplines to make learning more authentic

8 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What pedagogical beliefs underpin CoL? For example: The origins of TOK (Alec Peterson - “Schools without frontiers” ) To avoid the tendency of national systems where subjects are studied in “watertight compartments” “What matters is not the regurgitation either of facts or of pre-digested interpretations of facts but the development of powers of the mind or ways of thinking that can be applied to new situations” “Teaching specific subjects without making clear their context in the broad fundamental structure of a field of knowledge is uneconomical in several deep senses” Page 8

9 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What pedagogical beliefs underpin CoL?  A subject can be taught in a shorter space of time but genuine learning by its very nature is a more lengthy process than instruction  Meaningful assessment has important formative elements which require extended time right up to the summative exams  Inquiry and research for independent learning – not the intensive input of knowledge from teachers – requires greater patience and maturity of the student  Inter-disciplinary teaching and learning, not only through TOK but between subjects, promotes higher level thinking in students.  Time for reflection between classes and over time is vital for profound learning. Take a minute to read these statements. Do we all believe them? Page 9

10 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What pedagogical beliefs underpin CoL? IB beliefs and values of education - underpinned by research  Authenticity of learning — the reason for learning, the relevance to the learner and a deliberate focus on understanding the present world should be made explicit in a classroom (Gardner)  Piaget’s perspective was based on his observations of young students and what he saw as a “new kind of knowledge”, that which results from the “fluctuation of disciplinary boundaries”.  Nicolescu claims that since the early 1970s we have been “in a kind of sleep because nobody really succeeded in capturing what this was really about — beyond the disciplines” (Volckmann 2007). Page 10

11 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 The authorization and evaluation processes Both authorization and evaluation processes are based on the framework of the program standards and practices that embody this philosophy. “The IB Program standards and practices document provides a set of criteria against which both the authorized school and the International Baccalaureate (IB) can evaluate success in the implementation of the three programs: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme.” Page 11

12 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Standards and practices The IB is aware that for each school, the implementation of an IB program is a journey and that the school will meet these standards and practices to varying degrees along the way. However, it is expected that the school must make a commitment towards meeting all the standards, practices and program requirements. Page 12

13 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 CoL in our new IB Standards and Practices Page 13 B2 10. The student schedule or timetable allows for the requirements of the programme(s) to be met. a.The schedule provides for the recommended hours for each standard and higher level subject. b. The schedule provides for the development of the Theory of Knowledge course over two years. c. The schedule respects concurrency of learning in the Diploma Programme.

14 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Standard A1 and A2 There is close alignment between the educational values and beliefs of the school and those of the programme This includes but is not limited to, a constructivist approach to education, where the teacher facilitates the learning process – which belongs to the individual student Education is holistic. Concurrency is practice 11 of this standard – a practice that is seen to be necessary to facilitate alignment with IB beliefs and values. Page 14

15 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Standard B: The school demonstrates ongoing commitment to, and provides support for, the program through appropriate administrative structures and systems, staffing and resources.  The head of school/the school principal, program coordinator, teaching staff and non-teaching professionals demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, the program.  The head of school/the school principal and program coordinator have a good understanding of the principles of the program and demonstrate pedagogical leadership. Page 15

16 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Standard C1:A comprehensive, coherent, written curriculum, based on the requirements of the program and developed by the school, is available to all sections of the school community.  There is a balance of subjects on offer in the school as well as an appropriate student schedule that provides for student access to the full diploma.  The school supports the central role of TOK by assigning adequate staffing and time for student learning and assessment, and establishing links to other subjects. Page 16

17 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 C2: The school has implemented a system through which all teachers plan and reflect in collaborative teams.  Planning at the school takes place collaboratively.  Planning at the school enables all teachers to gain an overview of the students’ whole learning experience  Planning at the school accommodates a range of learning needs and styles, as well as varying levels of competencies. Page 17

18 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Putting our ‘principles into practice’ Page 18 Students are expected to make connections between different academic disciplines and not to study subjects “in isolation” from each other. Teachers and schools have a responsibility to help students make meaningful connections between different disciplines through providing instruction, teaching schedules and learning environments that support this process. Concurrency of learning is expected in the Diploma Programme as it provides one important means of supporting interdisciplinary learning.

19 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Putting our ‘principles into practice’ Page 19 Concurrency means teaching the curriculum in a schedule that consistently exposes the student to all of their subjects and the core, over the two years of the programme. This allows students and teachers to make links between experiences in the core and the academic subjects that are being studied, and it is based on the belief that the total educational experience is more than the sum of its parts.

20 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Putting our ‘principles into practice’ Page 20 Scheduling There are a number of philosophical as well as practical scheduling issues that schools need to address from the outset. These are: optimizing student access building a broad and balanced curriculum concurrency of learning scheduling and supporting the core.

21 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Putting our ‘principles into practice’ Page 21 Scheduling can be a complex issue, particularly when other state, provincial or national courses have to be incorporated, and it is frequently connected with a detailed analysis of timelines for internal and external assessment completion and submission.

22 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Putting our ‘principles into practice’ Page 22 The core must be taught/experienced over two years. TOK is a course that encourages reflection on the nature of human knowledge and should be taught with reference to student experience in the classroom, which requires concurrency of learning. Some schools choose to finish the TOK course slightly before the final examinations so that students can start to prepare for final assessments. Similarly, CAS needs to involve students over the two years, but it is reasonable to allow students to finish the programme a couple of months before final assessments to allow them to concentrate on examination preparation.

23 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 IB General Regulations connected to CoL Page 23 7.1 Candidates for the IB diploma must satisfy assessment requirements in six subjects, each studied over a period of two years, except that not more than two standard level courses may be completed in the first year of the program. Languages ab initio and pilot subjects can never be completed in the first year of the program. 7.2 In addition to the six subjects, candidates for the IB diploma must: a. take a course in, and complete the required assessment in, theory of knowledge, for which the IB Organization recommends at least 100 hours of teaching over the two-year period of the Diploma Program

24 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 CoL and Procedures Page 24 All higher level subjects, the core and at least one standard level subject must be taught over the two years of the programme. It is permissible to teach up to two standard level subjects during the first year and assess them at the end of that year as anticipated subjects. It is also permissible to teach one standard level subject during the first year and assess it at the end of the year as an anticipated subject, and to teach one standard level subject during the second year and assess it with the other final assessments needed for the diploma. It should be noted that this exception is designed to offer flexibility to schools where genuine need for this arrangement exists due to unavoidable scheduling constraints. This is not intended to be a routine aspect of Diploma Programme design; all courses are designed as two ‑ year learning experiences.

25 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: Languages ‘ thoughts on why teaching and learning of the specific subject is best in 2 years instead of 6 months’ At every English examiner meeting I have been too – and in my past life as teacher or co-ordinator – it has been noticed that something happens to students between the first year and the second year: that after the summer break they begin to write in a more sophisticated way, showing that they really are able to reflect critically. At the TSM meeting last weekend we had to take this into consideration when advising teachers about course construction: that the teachers have to try and save the writing assessment until as late as they can possibly get away with so as to catch this maturity. Kristina Mowat Languages SAM

26 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: Arts Here are some fairly instant responses to the ‘why’ we recommend two- year study period in the arts: Maturity Importance of the process “versus” the product Sustained practice in making (Is it right to rush to the “end”?) Constructivist beliefs in education Learner profile attributes at “DP level” need time to flourish Connecting threads with other DP subjects, including the core—students need time for critical reflection Caroline Arts SAM

27 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: Chemistry Students develop as learners and as individuals during the two years. Our assessment tools are designed to be used on candidates who have completed two years of study and have the maturity as well as the subject knowledge needed to be successful. Maturation aside, concepts raised in a specific course take time to be assimilated and digested by students in order to gain deep knowledge of the subject. The more the subject content interacts with other subjects over the length of the course the more a student can work with the concepts, mould them and challenge them and in doing so refine their understanding of the world around them. Gareth Chemistry SAM

28 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: Maths In our opinion, it is extremely important that the Mathematics courses offered by the IB diploma are taught over two years. Mathematics is extremely intellectually demanding and the ideas involved take time to be assimilated by the student whatever level they are working at. The internal assessment components require careful introduction and need time for the students to become used to this type of task, ideally through repeated practice prior to the assessed tasks. In particular the mathematical studies project is intended to be an extended piece of work based on personal research by the student. Ample time is required to give students the opportunity to learn the skills needed for the completion of a successful project. It has been established that it is extremely bad practice for mathematics learning not to be continuous. A gap in the course where students do no mathematics has been shown to be detrimental to their understanding and development Maths SAMs

29 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: ITGS The ITGS course is designed and intended to be taught in two years in order to adequately investigate the topics in the guide and complete the ITGS project. A successful ITGS project necessitates working in a real-life situation with a client. Clients are often busy people and the student needs to have certain flexibility to fit in with the client’s availability. ITGS students need the time to investigate appropriate solutions for their ITGS project and to develop the necessary IT skills to develop the expected level of achievement. Higher-order thinking skills of analysis and evaluation mature over the two-year period and most students need this time to reach high marks in extended responses on examination questions. Paper 2 answers will benefit from analysis of a range of news items over an extended period of time.

30 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: Sciences All G4 diploma students are required to do a collaborative G4 project with students doing other group 4 subjects. This is a logistical problem at the best of times but must be much worse if they do the subject in 1 year or in concentrated blocks. Group 4 Internal assessment needs some practice and preparation before students are familiar with the criteria and teachers are clear how to apply and mark them. This is why we say the submitted ones should be done in the latter part of the course – difficult if they are doing a 1 year course or concentrated block teaching. Scientific concepts and ideas need some time to be absorbed, rethought and for understanding to build up – not easy in 1 year or in concentrated teaching blocks. David Jones (Curriculum Area Head Groups 4 and 5)

31 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Words of wisdom: TOK “If TOK is to play the central role in the DP that it should, classes should run over a significant portion of the two year course. Students’ intellectual development is such that they cannot fully grasp the ideas without prolonged exposure. TOK should both draw on the student experience in regular lessons and also provide a means for students to deepen their understanding in these lessons. Concurrency is therefore crucial, indeed essential and why it is placed at the core of the hexagon” Nick Alchin Chief Assessor TOK

32 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Understanding the context of block scheduling Page 32 Issues in Ontario, Indiana, California, Maryland? Anywhere else? Issue of Credits? Unions – time for teaching and planning / tenure / collective bargaining Districts – imposing block schedules?

33 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Understanding the context of block scheduling A debated issue beyond the IB! Page 33 Advantages of block schedules  More manageable schedule  More extended planning time  Average class size drops  Improvement in discipline  Assignment in one school for one day (A/B) or one semester (4x4)  Less time on admin  Quality instruction time  Extended activities  8 courses per year for credits  Opportunities to repeat  Fewer homework assignments Disadvantages of block schedules  Less total class time?  Difficult for transfer students  If teaching methods don’t change classes can drag  Intense pace of classes, less time to absorb profound themes  Gaps in languages and maths - evolving skills  Gaps between instruction and exams  Cramming one year into one semester  Bandwagon without evidence  Better results does not equate with better learning

34 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Examples of school schedules Page 34 IB Year 1IB Year 2 Semester 1Semester 2Semester 1Semester 2 TOK CAS over 18 months or more Language A1 Second Language Group 3 Subject Group 4 Subject Math Group 6 or alt

35 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Examples of school schedules Page 35 IB Year 1IB Year 2 Semester 1Semester 2Semester 1Semester 2 Day 1Day 2Day 1Day 2Day 1Day 2 Math SLTOKMath SLTOKMath SL TOK English HL Chemistry HL French HL History SLHistory SL (exam) Biology SLBiology SL (exam) What about IA in 8 months? Vital that student learning continues Creative! TOK over two years - better from the start?

36 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Examples of school schedules Page 36 IB Year 1IB Year 2 Semester 1Semester 2Semester 1Semester 2 English HL Economics HL History HL Chemistry HL Visual Arts HL Chemistry HL Visual Arts HL Chemistry HL Visual Arts HL French SLFrench SL (exam) Math SLMath SL (exam) Biology, Physics SL Introduction to TOK (lunch) TOK Very problematic Vital that student learning continues

37 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What’s the bottom line? Situations to Avoid Page 37 SL subjects offered in one semester HL subjects offered in two semesters HL or SL level subjects completed in semester 1 of DP year 1 without plans to continue support to student until exam in semester 2 of DP year 2. TOK scheduled only in year 1 or 2. Within subjects must be very explicit and planned. CAS completed in less than 18 academic months Subjects taught with a semester in between without actions that allow for student’s exposure to the subject during the semester in which it is not formally scheduled (e.g. independent study, conferences, meetings with teacher)

38 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 38 Matter:Semestered courses do not allow for concurrency of learning. The number of hours for History HL is well below the recommendation. To be addressed: Develop a plan which shows how the school will revise its schedule in time for the next programme evaluation, to provide for concurrency in chemistry, visual arts, mathematics, and theater arts and to provide the appropriate number of hours in History HL. These revisions should provide wider access and help students to achieve more success.

39 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 39 Matter:The TOK course is taught only during year 1 of the Diploma Programme. Higher Level biology and history are taught only in year 2 of the Diploma Programme. To be addressed: Develop a plan on how TOK and all higher level subjects will be taught over the two years of the Diploma Programme in time for the next programme evaluation, in order to meet the concurrency of learning IB requirement.

40 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 40 Matter:All SL courses and biology HL are taught in only one year of the programme, as well as TOK. To be addressed : Develop a plan to revise the schedule in time for the next programme evaluation, including TOK and biology HL taught over the two years of the Diploma Programme and no more than two SL level courses taught during only one year. These courses should be integrated into the school day and not taught as seminars on weekends.

41 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 41 Matter:The number of hours of instruction are below the recommended amount in all HL courses. These courses are taught during only one year of the Diploma Programme, against IB requirements (appendix 2 indicates that History HL is only taught for 110 hours in the grade 12 year). To be addressed : Develop a plan which shows how the school will revise its schedule in time for the next programme evaluation, including the central place of TOK & CAS and the teaching of the IB subjects (esp HL ones) during the two years of the programme. Include a schedule that supports student learning is necessary to ensure their success.

42 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 42 Matter:The ab initio language courses are taught only during the first year of the Diploma Programme. It is not clear how many SL subjects are taught per student during only one year of the Diploma Programme. To be addressed : Write a statement and send supporting evidence explaning how the delivery of the programme is organized along the two years of the diploma to ensure the concurrency of learning takes place.

43 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 What happens at the evaluation stage? Page 43 Not addressed matters: We cannot consider that the school has addressed the matter in a satisfactory manner. TOK is one of the three core elements of the diploma and is key to promoting concurrency of learning and a degree of interdisciplinarity essential to the programme. This requirement must be considered an independent course in the two years of the Diploma Programme. We commend the school's intention to show how TOK is included within the teaching of the IB subjects, but cannot remain as a marginal element when belongs to the core of the diploma. Please, explore the possibility of changing the current schedule before the next programme evaluation (in five years time) and develop a plan to have a two-year TOK course concurrent with the whole Diploma Programme. The school must prepare this action plan to address this matter and send it to the regional office.

44 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Page 44 MYP: a balanced programme The MYP promotes the principle of concurrency of learning, whereby students deal with a balanced curriculum each year in which different subjects are studied simultaneously. (MYP: From principles into practice, 2008) The school ensures concurrency of learning for each student across all subject groups. (IB programme standards and practices, A1.10, 2005)

45 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Page 45 How is balance achieved? The IB mandates 50 hours per year for each subject group as the minimum to allow students to continue to mature and further their experience of all subject groups each year. In order to ensure concurrency of learning, these teaching hours should be sustained over the course of a year. (MYP coordinator’s handbook, D1.6, 2009)

46 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Page 46 Curriculum flexibility option  Subject to approval by the regional office, flexibility is available in the last two years of the program.  In the penultimate and final years, schools may offer a course of study that does not include all eight subject groups.  Language B foundation level is not available as part of this option. (MYP coordinator’s handbook, D1.5, 2009)

47 © International Baccalaureate Organization 2007 Do you have any questions for us? gloria.mcdowell@ibo.org andrew.atkinson@ibo.org


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