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Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Southport, January 2009 Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Steven.

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Presentation on theme: "Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Southport, January 2009 Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Steven."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Southport, January 2009 Cautious (r)evolution? Curriculum change at Key Stage Three Steven Chubb University of Cumbria Southport, January 2009

2 Planning the curriculum The process of designing and developing a curriculum is demanding. It is a creative process and relies on inspiration as well as good subject and pedagogical knowledge (Kinder, 2008; 102). Planning the curriculum is a strange mixture of rational organization and serendipity (Rawling, 2007; 32).Planning the curriculum is a strange mixture of rational organization and serendipity (Rawling, 2007; 32).

3 Teachers as gatekeepers Teaching always involves value judgements about what to teach and what not to teach; about what is worth knowing and what is not; about how to think and how not to think; about which skills are relevant and which are not. Teachers are, in effect, gatekeepers who sanction and censure what you can know in the classroomTeaching always involves value judgements about what to teach and what not to teach; about what is worth knowing and what is not; about how to think and how not to think; about which skills are relevant and which are not. Teachers are, in effect, gatekeepers who sanction and censure what you can know in the classroom (Castree, 2005, 299).

4 Types of curriculum planner Cautious Balanced Progressive Adventurous (Rawling, 2007; 32)

5 Cautious – stay with known structure and well established units. Provide a secure base of knowledge and skills. Only make essential changes as required by PoS.Cautious – stay with known structure and well established units. Provide a secure base of knowledge and skills. Only make essential changes as required by PoS. Balanced – assume some of existing course will stay. Consider new PoS and new ideas and add them alongside well-established units. Ensure new course is a balance of new and old.Balanced – assume some of existing course will stay. Consider new PoS and new ideas and add them alongside well-established units. Ensure new course is a balance of new and old. Progressive – a complete review of course structure and content. Draw on lots of new ideas and materials. Keep some existing topics and approaches, tailoring them to new structures.Progressive – a complete review of course structure and content. Draw on lots of new ideas and materials. Keep some existing topics and approaches, tailoring them to new structures. Adventurous – undertake a radical overhaul, starting with a clean slate. Take inspiration from academic geography and/or students experiences. Adopt new and innovative topics and materials, some of which may be untried.Adventurous – undertake a radical overhaul, starting with a clean slate. Take inspiration from academic geography and/or students experiences. Adopt new and innovative topics and materials, some of which may be untried. (Rawling, 2007)

6 Background to research Research consisted of semi-structured interviews with 9 teachers in charge of Geography in Lancashire Secondary schools.Research consisted of semi-structured interviews with 9 teachers in charge of Geography in Lancashire Secondary schools. They were asked how and why they were adapting their KS3 Geography curriculum.They were asked how and why they were adapting their KS3 Geography curriculum. Chosen by responses to initial postal survey – use sport in geography at KS3.Chosen by responses to initial postal survey – use sport in geography at KS3. Varied gender/length of service of teacher in charge.Varied gender/length of service of teacher in charge.

7 Schools visited 1 girls school1 girls school 1 academy1 academy 2 church schools (CoE)2 church schools (CoE) 1 humanities specialist school1 humanities specialist school three schoolsthree schools six schoolssix schools

8 Topics being dropped IndustryIndustry FarmingFarming TourismTourism DevelopmentDevelopment ItalyItaly Sport Brazil (x2) Japan (x2) Weather & climate

9 Topics being added SportSport Geography in the newsGeography in the news USAUSA Global issuesGlobal issues Generally a more local focus + local F/WGenerally a more local focus + local F/W Sport has obvious links to many of the key concepts in the new curriculumSport has obvious links to many of the key concepts in the new curriculum

10 Results - comments School G new Health topic was inspired by newspaper articles and developed by the department itselfnew Health topic was inspired by newspaper articles and developed by the department itself Music and geography a possibility under considerationMusic and geography a possibility under consideration School F dropping Industry and Farming – not relevant enough to pupils and staff/pupils find it boringdropping Industry and Farming – not relevant enough to pupils and staff/pupils find it boring

11 Results - comments School B Year 9 country studies of Italy, Brazil and Japan being dropped – both staff and pupils not keen and Japan/Italy a hangover from the last curriculum.Year 9 country studies of Italy, Brazil and Japan being dropped – both staff and pupils not keen and Japan/Italy a hangover from the last curriculum. Will spend more time on UK studies to develop spatial skills.Will spend more time on UK studies to develop spatial skills. School C Sport possibly being dropped because of less curriculum time for relevant fieldwork – (Bolton, Reebok stadium).Sport possibly being dropped because of less curriculum time for relevant fieldwork – (Bolton, Reebok stadium). Geography of crime introduced in 2007 to develop citizenship linksGeography of crime introduced in 2007 to develop citizenship links

12 Results - comments School A Currently no F/W at KS3 and curriculum change a chance to introduce this with increased flexibility.Currently no F/W at KS3 and curriculum change a chance to introduce this with increased flexibility. Keeping Brazil – resources available for this a key aspect. Keeping Japan – pupils like it.Keeping Brazil – resources available for this a key aspect. Keeping Japan – pupils like it. Used Geographical Worlds planning wheel conceptUsed Geographical Worlds planning wheel concept Yr 7 now a Humanities courseYr 7 now a Humanities course School H pleased with new flexibility – allows for creativity by teachers and back to pre-national curriculum times.pleased with new flexibility – allows for creativity by teachers and back to pre-national curriculum times. Old curriculum had become a bit tired and stale – chance to changeOld curriculum had become a bit tired and stale – chance to change New country case study - USANew country case study - USA Yr 7 now a Humanities courseYr 7 now a Humanities course

13 Results - comments School I Not anticipating making major changes to KS3 syllabus – department has always changed curriculum in the past as necessary.Not anticipating making major changes to KS3 syllabus – department has always changed curriculum in the past as necessary. Retaining country studies – Brazil popular with football/favela/crime links, Italy prepares for GCSE and links to development.Retaining country studies – Brazil popular with football/favela/crime links, Italy prepares for GCSE and links to development. School E Yr. 7 Learning to Learn course covers local studies, regeneration and country case studies (class choose which country to study).Yr. 7 Learning to Learn course covers local studies, regeneration and country case studies (class choose which country to study). Not making big changes to curriculum as have changed recently and current curriculum works well.Not making big changes to curriculum as have changed recently and current curriculum works well. School D the number of changes this year and next are ill thought out – too many for schools to cope with.the number of changes this year and next are ill thought out – too many for schools to cope with. No need to make major changes to content – worried about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.No need to make major changes to content – worried about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

14 Curriculum inertia? Roberts used the term curriculum inertia to describe the situation where teachers continue with their existing choices even when not constrained by prescription (2005; 62) Roberts encouraged use of pupil voice in exploring childrens geographies and designing new curricula

15 School C surveyed year 10 pupils about the possible curriculum changes: Pupils wanted to study Global warming, poverty, war/political issues, crimeGlobal warming, poverty, war/political issues, crime Places – USA, Iran, Iraq, UK, China, Afghanistan, Africa, EuropePlaces – USA, Iran, Iraq, UK, China, Afghanistan, Africa, Europe Pupils wanted to keep Fashion, volcanoes/earthquakes, weather and tourismFashion, volcanoes/earthquakes, weather and tourism Pupils wanted to drop Brazil, JapanBrazil, Japan

16 Planning the new curriculum The new PoS requires all geography teachers to think carefully about their rationale for selecting content. Local opportunities and practical considerations (e.g. resources available) will doubtless play a role. Relevance to the lives of learners is vital, as is the need for learning to build on learners previous geographical experience. (Rawling, 2008, cited in Kinder, 2008; 99) A key tool in the selection of content is the idea of geographical significance. (Kinder, 2008; 99)

17 Concluding thoughts… Varied responses to possible curriculum change – generally more cautious/balanced than progressive/adventurousVaried responses to possible curriculum change – generally more cautious/balanced than progressive/adventurous Busy with other changes so many have made limited changes to KS3?Busy with other changes so many have made limited changes to KS3? Responses suggest that age and length of service not so important as teacher type?Responses suggest that age and length of service not so important as teacher type? A possible typology –A possible typology – –The Geographer –The Manager –The Cross-Curricularist –The Traditionalist

18 Concluding thoughts… Curriculum change currently perhaps more connected to structure rather than content – change to Humanities courses, starting GCSE early in year 9, less time for geographyCurriculum change currently perhaps more connected to structure rather than content – change to Humanities courses, starting GCSE early in year 9, less time for geography Chance to introduce a more critical geography may be being missedChance to introduce a more critical geography may be being missed Impact of GA training/Teachers Toolkit not obviousImpact of GA training/Teachers Toolkit not obvious

19 Have we been here before….? Prior to 1988…Geography departments were free to decide on content, method of delivery and the nature of assessment that fitted their localities and needs (Jones, 2002; 3)Prior to 1988…Geography departments were free to decide on content, method of delivery and the nature of assessment that fitted their localities and needs (Jones, 2002; 3) Innovative curriculum development had often led to Humanities courses, shared with History and RE.Innovative curriculum development had often led to Humanities courses, shared with History and RE. This allowed for greater flexibility but often led to Geography being taught by non-specialists (ibid.)This allowed for greater flexibility but often led to Geography being taught by non-specialists (ibid.) The critical issue for geography teams remains that of time. In 2000 schools were planning for the new specifications to be introduced post- 16. Much of 2001 was spent planning for new A level and GCSE specifications, diverting energy and planning away from KS3 (ibid.)The critical issue for geography teams remains that of time. In 2000 schools were planning for the new specifications to be introduced post- 16. Much of 2001 was spent planning for new A level and GCSE specifications, diverting energy and planning away from KS3 (ibid.)

20 References Holloway, S. et al. (eds) (2003) Key Concepts in Geography London: SageHolloway, S. et al. (eds) (2003) Key Concepts in Geography London: Sage Jackson, P (2006) Thinking Geographically. Geography, Autumn 2006, p.199Jackson, P (2006) Thinking Geographically. Geography, Autumn 2006, p.199 Jones, M (2002) Working with the National Curriculum ch. 1 in Smith, M (ed.) Aspects of teaching secondary geography, London/New York: Routledge/Falmer, O.U.Jones, M (2002) Working with the National Curriculum ch. 1 in Smith, M (ed.) Aspects of teaching secondary geography, London/New York: Routledge/Falmer, O.U. Kinder, A (2008) A teachers toolkit for KS3 Teaching Geography Autumn 2008Kinder, A (2008) A teachers toolkit for KS3 Teaching Geography Autumn 2008 Lambert, D (2004) Geography ch. 6 in White, J (ed.) (2004)Lambert, D (2004) Geography ch. 6 in White, J (ed.) (2004) Rethinking the School Curriculum London/New York:Routledge/Falmer Morgan J (2002) Teaching Geography for a Better World The Postmodern Challenge and Geography Education International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education vol. 11, no.1, pp Morgan J (2002) Teaching Geography for a Better World The Postmodern Challenge and Geography Education International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education vol. 11, no.1, pp Pointon and Wood (2007) The new AS/A level specifications Teaching Geography Autumn 2007 p. 124/125Pointon and Wood (2007) The new AS/A level specifications Teaching Geography Autumn 2007 p. 124/125 Rawling, E (2000) National Curriculum Geography: new opportunities for curriculum development? in Kent, A (ed) Reflective Practice in Geography Teaching, ch. 9, p London: Paul Chapman PublishingRawling, E (2000) National Curriculum Geography: new opportunities for curriculum development? in Kent, A (ed) Reflective Practice in Geography Teaching, ch. 9, p London: Paul Chapman Publishing Rawling, E (2007) Planning your Key Stage 3 Geography Curriculum Sheffield: GARawling, E (2007) Planning your Key Stage 3 Geography Curriculum Sheffield: GA Rawling, E (2008) Planning your KS3 curriculum Teaching Geography Autumn 2008Rawling, E (2008) Planning your KS3 curriculum Teaching Geography Autumn 2008 Roberts, M (2005) Constructing the world through the curriculum in Changing Horizons in Geography Education, Donert, K & Charzynski, P (eds) HERODOTRoberts, M (2005) Constructing the world through the curriculum in Changing Horizons in Geography Education, Donert, K & Charzynski, P (eds) HERODOT White, J (ed.) (2004)White, J (ed.) (2004) Rethinking the School Curriculum London/New York:Routledge/Falmer


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