Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

© Curriculum Foundation1 Part 1 How can we build on the notion of ‘leaves’ and ‘roots’ to refine curriculum design? Part 1 How can we build on the notion.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "© Curriculum Foundation1 Part 1 How can we build on the notion of ‘leaves’ and ‘roots’ to refine curriculum design? Part 1 How can we build on the notion."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Curriculum Foundation1 Part 1 How can we build on the notion of ‘leaves’ and ‘roots’ to refine curriculum design? Part 1 How can we build on the notion of ‘leaves’ and ‘roots’ to refine curriculum design?

2 © Curriculum Foundation2 Let’s start at with the last picture. This is Dr Brian Male, whose ‘Curriculum Design Handbooks’ we looked at in Unit 3. There are two books, one focused on Primary, and one (written with Prof Mick Waters) focused on Secondary. The design principles are the same in each book – but the settings differ. These books put forward an approach to design that builds on the roots and leaves and introduces the idea of key learning or ‘key concepts’ within this. It is a way of taking the expectations of the national curriculum and tailoring them to a particular set of students. Let’s start at with the last picture. This is Dr Brian Male, whose ‘Curriculum Design Handbooks’ we looked at in Unit 3. There are two books, one focused on Primary, and one (written with Prof Mick Waters) focused on Secondary. The design principles are the same in each book – but the settings differ. These books put forward an approach to design that builds on the roots and leaves and introduces the idea of key learning or ‘key concepts’ within this. It is a way of taking the expectations of the national curriculum and tailoring them to a particular set of students.

3 © Curriculum Foundation3 Brian Male puts forward the notion of ‘triangulated’ design that enables the requirements of the national curriculum to be set within the context of local needs and priorities. The notion of ‘key concepts’ refines the subject expectations, or ‘leaves’. There are (as you would expect) three aspects to the triangle: Subject Content Key Concept Key Skill

4 © Curriculum Foundation 4 In this model, the national curriculum Programmes of Study (PoS) supply the ‘subject content’. The present Secondary PoS also supply the Key Concepts – but these will disappear in the new national curriculum. The Key Skills will come from the skills element of the competencies that you listed in Unit 2. The PoS will, in this model, provide the knowledge context for the competencies. Between these three, the learning experience is defined. Subject Content Key Concept Key Skill Learning experience

5 © Curriculum Foundation5 In terms of the ‘tree’ model, the subject content and the key concept can be seen as ‘leaves’ and the Key Skill element of the competencies as the ‘roots’. Subject content Key concept Key skill (from competencies) Key skill (from competencies) Leaves Roots Leaves

6 © Curriculum Foundation The way this works in practice is that we often start the design process with an element of the national Programme of Study; for example, ‘The Victorians’ from history or ‘Erosion’ from geography. This is the subject content. Within this overall content, we need to ensure a focus. What is the key thing that we want our pupils to understand within this content? This is the ‘key concept’. This may represent a change for some schools. We often try to think of all the things that could possibly be learned rather than focus on the key things that will bring about understanding. (Do you remember ‘knowledge, skills and understanding’ from Unit 2? Concepts are about understanding, and so of a higher order than knowledge.) In the present national curriculum, key concepts are listed at Key Stage 3&4, and are in the Level Descriptors for all phases. However, they are not present in the new national curriculum for any key stage, so we shall have the scope and freedom to develop our own. But it is important that we do develop these for ourselves – they are key to curriculum design because they ensure understanding, and so deep learning. The way this works in practice is that we often start the design process with an element of the national Programme of Study; for example, ‘The Victorians’ from history or ‘Erosion’ from geography. This is the subject content. Within this overall content, we need to ensure a focus. What is the key thing that we want our pupils to understand within this content? This is the ‘key concept’. This may represent a change for some schools. We often try to think of all the things that could possibly be learned rather than focus on the key things that will bring about understanding. (Do you remember ‘knowledge, skills and understanding’ from Unit 2? Concepts are about understanding, and so of a higher order than knowledge.) In the present national curriculum, key concepts are listed at Key Stage 3&4, and are in the Level Descriptors for all phases. However, they are not present in the new national curriculum for any key stage, so we shall have the scope and freedom to develop our own. But it is important that we do develop these for ourselves – they are key to curriculum design because they ensure understanding, and so deep learning.

7 © Curriculum Foundation7 Subject content Key concept The Victorians Change In the example we looked at in Unit 3, a Year 6 class was investigating changes in marriage patterns in the Parish Register. Do you remember? The subject content here was ‘The Victorians’ and the key concept was the understanding of the causes of change. The key concept gives us a criterion by which we can select from the whole range of the content. We ask ourselves, ‘What aspects of the content will help our pupils understand about change?’ In this case, we need look only at the the Parish Register. In the example we looked at in Unit 3, a Year 6 class was investigating changes in marriage patterns in the Parish Register. Do you remember? The subject content here was ‘The Victorians’ and the key concept was the understanding of the causes of change. The key concept gives us a criterion by which we can select from the whole range of the content. We ask ourselves, ‘What aspects of the content will help our pupils understand about change?’ In this case, we need look only at the the Parish Register. Parish Register

8 © Curriculum Foundation8 Subject content Key concept Erosion and deposition Interactions Beach Study In the Secondary example we looked at in Unit 3, a Year 8 class was engaged in a beach study. Do you remember? The subject content here was ‘erosion and deposition’ and the key concept was ‘how interactions between physical and human processes change places and environments'. Again, the key concept gives us a criterion by which we can select from the whole range of the content. In this case, the building of the groynes by humans has had an impact on the shape of the beach. We have our focus. In the Secondary example we looked at in Unit 3, a Year 8 class was engaged in a beach study. Do you remember? The subject content here was ‘erosion and deposition’ and the key concept was ‘how interactions between physical and human processes change places and environments'. Again, the key concept gives us a criterion by which we can select from the whole range of the content. In this case, the building of the groynes by humans has had an impact on the shape of the beach. We have our focus.

9 © Curriculum Foundation9 Subject content Key concept The Victorians Economic development Factories and mines However, if we change the key concept, we change the learning experience even if the content stays the same. For example, if we want our pupils to learn about economic development in the Victorian period, then the Parish Register will not be too helpful. Instead we need to look at factories or mines. So changing the key concept, changes the experience we need to design. However, if we change the key concept, we change the learning experience even if the content stays the same. For example, if we want our pupils to learn about economic development in the Victorian period, then the Parish Register will not be too helpful. Instead we need to look at factories or mines. So changing the key concept, changes the experience we need to design.

10 © Curriculum Foundation10 You may have noticed that we started talking about ‘design triangles’ but the last few slides have been about only two aspects: subject content and key concepts. What about the third vertex? It was the skills from the key competencies. We should clarify here that we are talking about the key skills from the competencies that we looked at in Unit 2. These should not be confused with the ‘key skills’ that are mentioned in the present Key Stage 3&4 curriculum. These refer to key subject skills. The competency skills apply to all subjects, with the subject providing the knowledge context. There are also ‘key skills’ mentioned in the present Key Stage 1&2 curriculum (in the ‘white pages’ at the front). These are also ‘generic’ in that they can apply to any subject, and they are subsumed in the competency approach suggested in this course. In the new National Curriculum there are no separately mentioned subject skills, nor generic skills. It will therefore be up to schools to identify these skills. This triangulated design approach offers a way forward on this. We focus here on the generic skills within the competencies. The subject skills will be considered in Unit 5. You may have noticed that we started talking about ‘design triangles’ but the last few slides have been about only two aspects: subject content and key concepts. What about the third vertex? It was the skills from the key competencies. We should clarify here that we are talking about the key skills from the competencies that we looked at in Unit 2. These should not be confused with the ‘key skills’ that are mentioned in the present Key Stage 3&4 curriculum. These refer to key subject skills. The competency skills apply to all subjects, with the subject providing the knowledge context. There are also ‘key skills’ mentioned in the present Key Stage 1&2 curriculum (in the ‘white pages’ at the front). These are also ‘generic’ in that they can apply to any subject, and they are subsumed in the competency approach suggested in this course. In the new National Curriculum there are no separately mentioned subject skills, nor generic skills. It will therefore be up to schools to identify these skills. This triangulated design approach offers a way forward on this. We focus here on the generic skills within the competencies. The subject skills will be considered in Unit 5.

11 © Curriculum Foundation11 So, back to the design triangles - how do these affect the design? (Firstly, we need to remember that competencies are made up of knowledge, skills and attitudes – the subject content and key concepts will provide the knowledge context, so what we are looking at here are the skills and attitudes. Let’s focus on the skills first.) In the Y6 example, the pupils were learning to work in teams and to solve problems (competencies seldom occur singly!). But what if you still wanted to focus on the Victorians and the key concept of change, but wanted to develop your pupils’ communication skills in this context? In that case, you would design a learning experience that involves having to communicate information about an aspect of change during Victorian times. The subject content and key concept remain the same, but the different competency skills would require a different learning experience. So, back to the design triangles - how do these affect the design? (Firstly, we need to remember that competencies are made up of knowledge, skills and attitudes – the subject content and key concepts will provide the knowledge context, so what we are looking at here are the skills and attitudes. Let’s focus on the skills first.) In the Y6 example, the pupils were learning to work in teams and to solve problems (competencies seldom occur singly!). But what if you still wanted to focus on the Victorians and the key concept of change, but wanted to develop your pupils’ communication skills in this context? In that case, you would design a learning experience that involves having to communicate information about an aspect of change during Victorian times. The subject content and key concept remain the same, but the different competency skills would require a different learning experience.

12 © Curriculum Foundation12 Subject content Key concept The Victorians Change For example, you might keep the study of the change in marriage patterns, but move the focus to how pupils could present this finding to a particular audience – oral, PowerPoint, a play, written text, animated film etc. Or you might take another aspect of change. One Year 6 class was asked to illustrate how their town had changed during Victorian times. They researched this and produced an animated film showing the roads snaking out, the land being built on, and the railways developing. For example, you might keep the study of the change in marriage patterns, but move the focus to how pupils could present this finding to a particular audience – oral, PowerPoint, a play, written text, animated film etc. Or you might take another aspect of change. One Year 6 class was asked to illustrate how their town had changed during Victorian times. They researched this and produced an animated film showing the roads snaking out, the land being built on, and the railways developing. Animated film Competency skill Communication

13 © Curriculum Foundation13 Subject content Key concept The Victorians Change Another idea was to stage a debate with parents acting as Victorian Members of Parliament, and pupils having to persuade them to change the law about children working in factories. A very different sort of communication here – but all within the subject content of the Victorians and the key concept of change. The different competency skill focus changes the learning experience. Another idea was to stage a debate with parents acting as Victorian Members of Parliament, and pupils having to persuade them to change the law about children working in factories. A very different sort of communication here – but all within the subject content of the Victorians and the key concept of change. The different competency skill focus changes the learning experience. Parliamentary debate Competency skill Communication

14 © Curriculum Foundation14 A further feature of the ‘key concept’ notion is that it focuses clearly on the level of understanding within learning. In the present curriculum, this relates to the Level Descriptors and so ensures high challenge. In the practical situation of the application of competency skills, pupils are able to rise to this challenge. And not only do they gain deeper understanding of the subject content, they develop better recall. Do you remember ED Hirsch’s example of the chess game from Unit 2? Understanding the game enables better recall of the positions. With better understanding and better recall, guess what? They do better in tests! Now, doing well in tests is not the point of education – but in the present climate it is a helpful by-product. So this approach to design is not only about making learning more interesting (and irresistible!) it is about achieving high standards. Curriculum design is not about lowering standards! A further feature of the ‘key concept’ notion is that it focuses clearly on the level of understanding within learning. In the present curriculum, this relates to the Level Descriptors and so ensures high challenge. In the practical situation of the application of competency skills, pupils are able to rise to this challenge. And not only do they gain deeper understanding of the subject content, they develop better recall. Do you remember ED Hirsch’s example of the chess game from Unit 2? Understanding the game enables better recall of the positions. With better understanding and better recall, guess what? They do better in tests! Now, doing well in tests is not the point of education – but in the present climate it is a helpful by-product. So this approach to design is not only about making learning more interesting (and irresistible!) it is about achieving high standards. Curriculum design is not about lowering standards! Good learning doesn’t look like this!

15 © Curriculum Foundation15 Look back at the piece of learning you designed in Unit 3. How would that fit with this triangle analysis? Can you detect the subject content, key concept and competency skill? Of course, this is applying the model retrospectively. In practice, we would start with this model in the design process and ask the questions: What subject content are we addressing? (This is usually our first question anyway!) What is the key concept within this content? What competency skills do our pupils need to develop? What learning experience could link these together? You may be thinking that this sounds more like planning teaching than the curriculum, but the model can be used at a number of levels. Long-term or medium term plans should include the key concepts. The competency skills should come later and relate to actual needs in the classroom. You can find more about this at Look back at the piece of learning you designed in Unit 3. How would that fit with this triangle analysis? Can you detect the subject content, key concept and competency skill? Of course, this is applying the model retrospectively. In practice, we would start with this model in the design process and ask the questions: What subject content are we addressing? (This is usually our first question anyway!) What is the key concept within this content? What competency skills do our pupils need to develop? What learning experience could link these together? You may be thinking that this sounds more like planning teaching than the curriculum, but the model can be used at a number of levels. Long-term or medium term plans should include the key concepts. The competency skills should come later and relate to actual needs in the classroom. You can find more about this at


Download ppt "© Curriculum Foundation1 Part 1 How can we build on the notion of ‘leaves’ and ‘roots’ to refine curriculum design? Part 1 How can we build on the notion."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google