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Teaching AusVELS’ General Capabilities: 1. Ethical Understandings

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching AusVELS’ General Capabilities: 1. Ethical Understandings"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching AusVELS’ General Capabilities: 1. Ethical Understandings
Dr Janette Poulton VAPS Education and Innovations Officer July 2014

2 VAPS Vision Our vision is to establish educational centres, named “VAPS Capability Hubs”, to support the introduction of AusVELS’ General Capabilities across Learning Areas and throughout the Victorian community. Our initial focus is on the Ethical Understanding domain: · Understanding ethical concepts and Issues · Exploring values, rights and responsibilities, · Reasoning in decision making and actions Government educational policies consistently recognize that successful learning critically depends on the “quality of teaching”, second only to “a student’s socioeconomic status“. So, in order to support the realization of this important educational initiative in Victoria, the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools (VAPS) intends to establish five strategically placed Hubs, initially to develop and deliver “Teaching Ethical Understanding resources” including Tool Kits, Professional Development Workshops, and Guides for use in Public Places. In following years we will develop similar resources to support the three outstanding Capabilities. These resources will be informed by VAPS expertise in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to teaching ethics, and will be collaboratively developed with Pre-service to Lead Teachers, and public Education Officers.

3 Rationale VCAA is currently developing an Ethical Understanding curriculum that all Victorian K-10 school children will be required to understand from Unlike the ACARA model, teachers must report to student achievement on a biannual basis, thus Victorian teachers will have no choice but to attempt to deliver this curriculum. It is apparent that this will be problematic, particularly as many Teachers regard such content as outside their brief, or have avoided developing a dialogical classroom because of ‘crowded curriculum’ issues. Furthermore, formal teacher education providers in Victoria only occasionally offer Courses in the teaching of ethics; as a result many pre-service and existing teachers are ill-prepared to deliver the Ethical Understandings curriculum. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that ethical behaviours and values are a contentious aspect of human life, particularly in the multi-cultural and global social context of Australia in the 21st Century. Teachers are unlikely to know how to proceed without adequate support and training. A particular concern is that inappropriate pedagogy of ethics often comes from those who perceive the easiest way forward is via moral indoctrination, which is demonstrably incompatible with inclusive and democratic schooling prescribed by PoLT. This program and tool kit will provide teachers with resources and training in the teaching of ethics in the VAPS designed Philosophy for Children (P4C) Inquiry based pedagogical approach. These resources are intended to cultivate a capacity for ethical inquiry, rather than being an uncritical training in moral values. As quoted in PoLT documents, “Asking good questions and higher order thinking are intertwined. We need to value the questions students ask and encourage it in our assessment… [we should] value, questions not answers.” This capacity is achieved through the development of dialogical skills and democratic practices in the safe environment of a philosophical community of inquiry. This project may be seen to assist the teachers of Ethical Understandings, but also will offer invaluable resources to teacher training providers in the future.

4 Objectives 1. Establishment of sustainable Capability hubs in strategically placed location to ensure equity and to address issues raised in the Gonski Report 2011. 2. Publication of Framework document for use by writers and facilitators constructed to ensure coherence for the development of the three EU resources. Moral educational theorists including Dewey, Vygotsky and Lipman, will be closely linked to both current Australian policy documents and Victorian Curriculum documents. For example, connections will be identified between EU and the Learning Areas, as well as the remaining 3 General Capabilities (Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding, and Personal and Social Capability) and the Early Years framework VEYLDF. Practical guidelines will be derived from Philosophy for Children (P4c) based research and resources. Lipman’s seminal works on Ethical Education; ‘Nous, Reasoning about Ethics’ and ‘Lisa, Reasoning in Ethics’ provide prototypical material. His approach rejects both dogmatic and relativist positions that undermine effective ethical education. Lipman recognises the key to moral development is the acquisition of relevant thinking skills - learning to think critically, creatively and with care - rather than simply learning ‘moral rules’ or being trained in ‘good‘ behaviours. The acquisition of these skills is achieved through the pedagogically sophisticated practice of the Community of Inquiry, where higher order thinking skills, democratic practices and dialogical skills are simultaneously facilitated. 3. Production of Teaching Ethical Understanding Tool kits for use by teachers including an explanatory overview and academic reference lists a collection of lesson plans a collection of examples and references to readily available stimulus materials (e.g picture story books, poems, pictures, short films, news items etc) a collection of artefacts for thinking skill development: traffic lights, talking sticks, concept games, quadrants, pathways assessment rubrics 3. Teaching Ethical Understanding workshops. This training would meet VIT standards for PD requirements for Pre-service, Graduate and Proficient teachers. Only FAPSA Level Two trained personal with a sound understanding of this form of pedagogy will facilitate. Workshops would be offered in each of 5 regions (for groups of up to 25 teachers to allow for participation in several Ethical Communities of Inquiry). Further content will include analysis of videoed classroom practice, direct teaching of thinking skills, and discussion of the potential difficulties associated with the teaching of ethics. Assessment tasks include designing teaching resources (e.g a concept game and a warm-up activity) and submitting an audio-visual recording of a lesson with students. 4. Up-skilling of Level one trained facilitators Volunteers wanting to be apprenticed during the trial Workshops will be offered the opportunity to be assessed to deliver the program as an incursion to schools post 2017, through additional 3 days training to be conducted after the Trial program has been completed and evaluated. 5. Publication of Teaching Ethical Understanding guides in Public Places. Development of location specific guides to accompany excursions relevant to the teaching of ethical understanding. VAPS has previously worked with such organisations to produce Philosophy Trails, and such existing resources can be redeveloped to focus on the new AusVELS ethics curriculum. Themes already developed by members of VAPS include Identity (Museum Victoria) Animal rights (the Melbourne Zoo) Censorship (the Art Gallery), Environmental ethics (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) Asylum (Immigration Museum) Media ethics (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) , Campfire films (Mind and body)…

5 How might you be involved?
VAPS possible of plan of action will be to proceed in three stages from We outline possible opportunities for you to make a contribution in the following three slides… Stay tuned for updates!

6 STAGE ONE – 2015 Preparing the project
Project Coordinator to manage overall budgeting and reporting Framework writers to ensure coherence for the development of the three Teaching Ethical Understanding (EU) resources. The framework will link The Ethical Understanding Capability: to Australian policy (e.g The Principles of Learning and Teaching) to Victorian Curriculum documents. ie the remaining 3 General Capabilities (Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding and Personal and Social Capability) as well as key Learning Areas, and VEYLDF. to developmental research in cognitive science that informs the EU to Philosophy for Children based research and resources and include working templates for use by Capability Coordinators. Capability Hub Coordinators to manage site specific budget, panels, workshops and reporting, in strategically located regions of Victoria. Subject Matter Expert Writers to be appointed at each Hub to produce the Teaching EU Tool-Kit. The panel will be required to map a selection of AusVELS Learning Area and Capability domains against the newly defined EU outcomes, and generate lesson plans and artefacts. Apprentice facilitators for those who have completed Level One training

7 STAGE TWO – 2016 Trialling the project
FAPSA Level 2 trained facilitators to facilitate EU workshops at each hub.  Second Panel of Subject Matter Expert Writers (including organisational representatives, Early years and Primary generalists, Secondary specialists and FAPSA Level 2 trained facilitators) to collaborate with Public non-for-Profit organizations resulting in the drafting of Teaching EU Guides for Public Places. Proposed sites include: The National Gallery of Victoria, The Melbourne Museum, C.E.R.E.S, Melbourne Zoo Campfire films State Library of Victoria  Teacher Educator Providers will be invited to trial the Teaching EU Tool-Kit at their own expense E.g, MIT will conduct workshops and semi-structured interviews with pre-service teachers to test the feasibility of the Tool Kit, and inform its design.

8 STAGE THREE - 2017 Finalising and Evaluating the project
Web page designer on-line version of EU Tool Kit on VAPS website, on-line versions of EU guides in public places Report writer to collect, collate and analyse data received from each Hub and compose a final report for publication Funders and Patrons to maintain the program. VAPS will revert to a user pays model, and seek further funding for development of Hubs through interested contacts.

9 Alignment with VIT Teaching Standards
PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Know students and how they learn including Know the content and how to teach it, including understanding Plan for an implement effective teaching and learning by Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments by Assess, provide feed-back an report on student learning by Engage in professional leaning by Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community by being able to recognise the kinds of skills, dispositions, behaviours and understandings that students currently demonstrate being able to recognise the kinds of skills, dispositions, behaviours and understandings that students students should be able to demonstrate at different stages of development relationships between EU and the 3 other General Capabilities the relevance of EU to specific learning areas. the key features of the theories of moral development that underpin the EU capability the differentiating criteria as defined by the levels how to access local and on-line available resources identifying ethical concepts and themes in learning Areas curricula, school and community contexts selecting and creating resources that provoke ethical inquiry developing questioning techniques for facilitating dialogues designing small group learning tasks that develop different thinking skills fostering a philosophical community of inquiry as a means for students to examine ethical problems and form moral judgements developing strategies for approaching the teaching of controversial topics mastering tools for assessing thinking skills and moral dispositions establishing formative assessment practices developing context specific reporting rubrics being motivated to implement the curriculum, learning activities and assessment tasks that foster the development of the EU capability being committed to the importance of the teaching of thinking skills appreciating the EU curriculum and being proactive in finding its relevance to specific learning areas organising excursions and incursions that foster ethical understanding collaborating with colleagues to produce and improve resources and practice

10 Alignment with VEYLDF, AusVELS and VCE
Many important outcomes promoted by the p4c approach to education align with VEYLDF outcomes e.g. developing a strong sense of identity, well-being and connection, and assisting students to become confident learners and effective communicators. This Project directly aligns with the pending AusVELS Ethical Understanding curriculum, a variant on the Australian Curriculum’s capability of the same name; due to be implemented in Victorian schools in Many aspects of learning associated with the new EU curriculum are embedded in VAPS PD programs via “interdisciplinary” strand of the former triple-helix VELS structure. We will re-align our content with the new double-helix AusVELS curriculum. VCAA states that “Ethical issues arise across all areas of the curriculum, with each learning area containing a range of content that demands consideration from an ethical perspective. This includes analysing and evaluating the ethics of the actions and motivation … understanding the ethical dimensions … debating ethical dilemmas … ” We can already discern in the existing AUsVELS Learning Areas a rich array of ethically interesting concepts and issues, principles, virtues and ideals, upon which our tool kit and workshop will draw for substantive content. We will continue to develop resources , workshops and networks to foster Ethical Understandings within the VCE Units 1 to 4 Philosophy studies.

11 Alignment with DEEDC policy
The proposed program is aligned with various policies, including: The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians, which recognises that ethical understanding assists students to become ”confident and creative individuals“; and acknowledges that the development of attributes “such as honesty, resilience, empathy and respect for others”, as well as “the capacity to act with ethical integrity” contribute to becoming “active and informed citizens”…“who work for the common good”. Principles of Learning and Teaching (P-12) #4 states, Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application, emphasizing connecting ideas, promoting substantive discussion of ideas, using strategies that challenge and support students to question and reflect, to investigate and problem solve, and to use imagination and creativity; all of which are consistent with p4c pedagogy. #6 Learning connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom. Our program motivates teachers to support “students engagement with contemporary knowledge and practice” and plans for students “to interact with local and broader communities and community practices” as a consequence of the collaborative approach we are taking with Public institutions. From New Directions to Action policy aim to “stimulate a culture of excellence and effective professional development” through motivating and training teachers to facilitate the development of the ethical understanding capability.

12 Why VAPS? VAPS is well positioned to undertake a project that involves supporting the implementation of both Ethical Understanding and Critical and Creative Thinking as the objectives of these newly defined Capabilities are so closely aligned with the collective knowledge, skills and experience of members and colleagues of VAPS. Over the past 25 years VAPS has delivered a variety of highly valued services to teachers and students of Philosophy. We organise conferences, provide training, resources and support for teachers, students and parents, as well as work with public institutions, such as the NGV and Melbourne Museum, to develop programs for Philosophy Excursions. We create educational opportunities for students to participate in Philosophy beyond the classroom in such things as primary and secondary Philosophy Competitions (Victorian and Australasian), VCE Philosophy Forums and Campfire Film Nights. VAPS has a well-established infrastructure, being managed by a dedicated executive and general committee members, who work on a honorary basis. We employ an Education and Innovations Officer one day a week, casual Membership Officer to manage our on-line database, and Event Coordinators and Web Designers as needed. We communicate with members through newsletters, discussion lists, face book and Website. Our FAPSA Level Two trained facilitators are paid at lecturing rates. VAPS current operational model is a sustainable one. We have an experienced Treasurer, transparent bank and Paypal accounts, and report annually to the Office of Fair Trading. VAPS funds all events and resources through annual membership fees ($ for individuals, $20.00 for students and $ for institutions); and through various other events, including conference registration and professional development workshop fees. Many of VAPS activities are also supported through voluntary work (e.g., unpaid keynote speakers) and through the free use of venues E.g., the University of Melbourne provides venues for student lectures and conferences, Brunswick East Primary School and Dandenong High Schools provide venues for teacher workshops, Scotch College provides a venue for VCE Network meetings, NGV and Ballarat Grammar City Cite for school philosophy activities. VAPS can rely on extensive collegial support from the broader Philosophy community, including international organisations like ICPIC, PCYNAP and IAPC. Professionally recognised experts such as Professor Peter Singer (most recently our Conference Patron) and Internationally acclaimed Community of Inquiry experts Philip Cam, Jen Glaser and Laurance Splitter, as well as academics from Universities across Victoria express confidence in our work. Our programs are informed by the pedagogical approach of Community of Inquiry, elaborated in the P4C (Philosophy for Children) tradition, which is ideally suited to the teaching of the Capabilities. VAPS has recently established professional relationships with the Humanist Society of Victoria, whose volunteers are currently undertaking our Community of Ethical Inquiry training, for the teaching of ethics in schools. Variants on this program have recently been delivered in Singapore and South Korea, and includes graduates from Iran and the Ukraine.

13 Long-term Sustainability
We are seeking a Strategic Partnership grant to support the trial project, and thus hope the services will initially be offered free of charge to teachers. Once all stake-holders are satisfied with the outcomes of this trial, we intend to improve and continue to run the workshops through charging fees to cover the cost of staffing and further development of the EU Tool Kit and Guides. If needed, funds acquired through memberships and fees from other VAPS events will be used to offset expenses involved in the transition to sustainable independence. We have free access to schools as venues for the proposed workshops, and later for incursions. Our continuing collaborations with Public Institutions will hopefully result in ready use of public spaces for workshop events and school excursions, as well as additional support for publication of resource materials. The apprenticeship model for Facilitators will increase the available number of workshop facilitators to deliver the program as incursions to schools post We intend to develop these centres as providers of PD for the four General capabilities and will seek further funding to assist this long-term project.

14 Useful Web Resources The Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools F-10 curriculum planning and guideline released by VCAA February From New Directions to action: World Class Teaching and Leadership, October Gonski report, December 2011 Blueprint for Government school, outlining the development of the Principles of Learning and Teaching P-12. The Principles of Learning and Teaching P-12 The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young People, released by Australian Education Ministers December 2008

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