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Joining the dots … Some implications of current educational initiatives in Scottish schools for the Universitys Curriculum Review Elaine M Cowan & Liz.

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Presentation on theme: "Joining the dots … Some implications of current educational initiatives in Scottish schools for the Universitys Curriculum Review Elaine M Cowan & Liz."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joining the dots … Some implications of current educational initiatives in Scottish schools for the Universitys Curriculum Review Elaine M Cowan & Liz Curtis School of Education and

2 The Scottish Education context The National Priorities as stated in 2002: 1. Achievement and Attainment 2. Framework for Learning 3. Inclusion and Equality 4. Values and Citizenship 5. Learning for Life See

3 Current major national initiatives in Scottish Schools Education for Citizenship 2002 Assessment is for Learning 2001-2008 Curriculum for Excellence 3-18 2004 onwards Other developments (local) aiming to enhance learning e.g.: Thinking skills Philosophy for Children, Critical skills programme, Collaborative learning Core and cross cutting skills

4 Curriculum for Excellence 3-18- why change it? The curriculum in Scotland has many strengths. Its well-respected curriculum for 3 to 5 year olds, its broad 5-14 curriculum, Standard Grade courses and the National Qualifications structure have been carefully designed to meet the needs of pupils at different stages. However, the various parts were developed separately and, taken together, they do not now provide the best basis for an excellent education for every child. The National Debate showed that people want a curriculum that will fully prepare today's children for adult life in the 21st century, be less crowded and better connected, and offer more choice and enjoyment.

5 CfE 3-18 De-clutter the curriculum (especially in primary schools) To give better continuity and enhance progression at stage transitions (i.e. Nursery to PS/ PS to SS/ SS to University?) Review the curriculum in a more generic way, rather than in the more traditional, stage/subject compartmentalised fashion. Encourage across curriculum skills and learning Emphasise the importance of the values underlying the curriculum as well as the processes of learning and teaching.

6 CfE 3-18: The Four Capacities The curriculum should enable all children to become: Successful learners Confident individuals Effective contributors Responsible citizens What does each of these outcomes mean?


8 Planning for CfE : core principles Underlying principles for CfE: challenge and enjoyment; breadth; progression; depth; personalisation and choice; coherence; and relevance. These principles find support in the literature on learning and pedagogy accumulated over several decades of research linking e.g. to motivation. CfE also identifies three factors upon which the opportunity for children to develop the four capacities will depend: the environment for learning; the choice of teaching and learning approaches; and the ways in which learning is organised (Scottish Executive, 2004, p. 13)

9 Learning and Teaching approaches in CfE 3-18 Active engagement: How can learning activities be designed in order to provide a stimulating context for the active engagement of individual learners? Meaningfulness: How can we ensure that the learner can make the necessary connections with new information, and make sense of the learning experiences provided? Motivation: Is there a willingness on the part of pupils to engage with the process of learning? How can we make the learning challenging, enjoyable and/or seen as worthy of effort? Metacognition: How can pupils be encouraged to be reflective – to learn how to learn? ICT and learning: How can we use ICT tools to enhance and transform pupils learning?

10 CfE: Organising learning Cooperative and collaborative learning: What opportunities are provided for peer mediated learning? How can a collaborative learning community be constructed in order to reap the advantages of a classroom culture within which teachers and students support one another in pursuit of clearly articulated goals? Problem-based learning: How can we provide pupils with the challenge of real problems to solve as individuals or in collaborative groups, thus fostering the motivation which comes from a genuine need to know the answer? Grouping: How can the needs of individual pupils best be met by differentiation and organisational strategies and that do not themselves create negative consequences?

11 CfE: implications for Learning and Teaching How can schools meet the capacities, skills & attitudes for 21 st Century outlined in CfE? The Assessment is for Learning initiative Core Skills e.g. WwO + Problem Solving to enhance co-operative learning (linked to monitoring surveys AAP/SSA) and SEEDs Literacy and Numeracy programme Other developments

12 What is Assessment is for Learning? Based on the work of Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam Kings College London Funded by SEED (ends March 08) and supported with in-service and thinking/development time Classroom teachers involvement in AifL projects (including formative assessment) and evaluation through action research

13 AifL: the Programme By December 2004, this initiative involved 1,581 schools. Working in Associated Schools Groups (ASGs) has emphasised the importance of professionals working together across sectors and subject boundaries building communities of practice to enhance learning and tecahing. By end academic session 2007-8 all schools in Scotland will be AifL schools and this will continue as an important aspect within CfE 3-18 initiative The outcomes of projects are captured in case studies available in the Assessment Online Toolkit, a dynamic resource aimed primarily at Scottish classroom teachers and school managers, but which will also be of interest to local authorities, researchers, trainee teachers, parents and pupils.

14 How does this link to improving teaching and enhancing learning? The Assessment is for Learning programme is based on the ideas that learners learn best and attainment improves, when learners: understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is expected of them; are given detailed feedback about the quality of their work, and what they can do to make it better; are given advice about how to go about making improvements; are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next, and who can give them help if they need it.

15 AifL: …the programme Supports teachers in developing their practice – implementing formative assessment strategies Monitors the Scottish education system (AAP/SSA) Shares the standard and helps teachers to confirm professional judgments on childrens learning Reports to & discusses progress with parents and children Supports and meets childrens needs & involves pupils and parents in setting appropriate next steps for learning ……..that is Assessment as, for and of learning

16 ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING What is an AifL School? A Place Where Everyone is Learning Together Curriculum Learning and Teaching Assessment Our pupils and staff help to set their own learning goals Our pupils and staff practise self- and peer-assessment Our pupils and staff identify and reflect on their own evidence of learning Staff use a range of evidence from day-to-day activities to check on pupils progress Staff talk and work together to share standards in and across schools Staff use assessment information to monitor their establishments provision and progress, and to plan for improvement Our pupils, staff and parents are clear about what is to be learned and what success would be like Our pupils and staff are given timely feedback about the quality of their work and how to make it better Our pupils and staff are fully involved in deciding next steps in their learning and identifying who can help Our classroom assessment involves high quality interactions, based on thoughtful questions, careful listening and reflective responses Using evidence as feedback to inform improvement

17 AifL strategies Sharing learning intentions Understanding the standard & success criteria (what makes a good answer?) Wait/thinking time - allowing response time and using better questioning to develop thinking Giving and following up quality feedback so children can do better next time Peer and self assessment – children evaluating their own work ………………….. Do these work?

18 Does AIFL work? Miller & Lavin s research at Dundee University (SERA 05) Implementing AifL strategies in the classroom (370 P6/7 children across approx 16 teachers) over four months resulted in: Measurable gains in self worth, self confidence as well as learning for those of the lowest and of the highest ability and for boys Less marked gains for those of middle ability Boys with negative views of their abilities at start of the year made twice the gains of others

19 ITE Students experiences of implementing AifL (Cowan) Key to the experiences of ITE students at Aberdeen University 2004-7 both on and off campus Linking to the national programme our ITE students were learning about AifL and using these strategies in schools. From 2003 onwards growing use in primary classrooms of AifL principles and strategies by teachers and our students was evident In the last two years, greater involvement by teachers and students in secondary schools is also evident. AifL percolates the whole school system 3-18 and is a core underlying principle and so continues within CfE 3-18

20 Did it make a difference? Students wrote: The pupils preferred this way of working as when they know the learning intentions, they know how to go about achieving (these). AifL enhanced pupil learning gains ….. (they were) extremely beneficial for identifying next steps for teaching and learning. Links to idea of metacognition (i.e. develops skills and enhances deeper understanding about own learning in order to generalise and apply it in other contexts)

21 CfE 3-18: links to other school developments in Learning and Teaching strategies Existing developments not only in AifL but also …. Core skills (all have SQA NQ profiles since 2000) and Philosophy for children Thinking skills The Critical Skills Programme Collaborative learning as additional useful strategies to draw on to help children to learn more effectively

22 Why Education for Citizenship? Longstanding concerns in education but impetus in Scotland from: Crick Report 1998 in England & Wales LTS Advisory Group to examine Scottish context and consultation document published in 2000 LTS Advisory Group produced final report in 2002 Education for Citizenship in Scotland: a document for development and discussion

23 Why EfC? The curriculum alone will not develop good citizens. Young people must be allowed to live important experiences in school and participate in real citizenship. (p 2) From HGIOS Education for Citizenship self evaluation series 2003

24 EfC: what is it? Experiences to develop skills, values and knowledge: Within curriculum or subject areas Across the curriculum through broader experiences both in and out of school

25 What is EfC? Political Literacy i.e. KU of –Contemporary social, political, economic, cultural and moral issues –Individual/social needs and consequences of actions to meet them –Rights and responsibilities in a democratic society –Conflict and decision making processes including role of the media

26 EfC Skills Coping effectively/safely in a range of social situations Working in teams to carry out tasks/ overcome difficulties Communicating effectively Researching and handling information Thinking critically about evidence

27 EfC Values Respect and self for others Share responsibility for community welfare Value and respect culture and community diversity Understand and value social justice And dispositions –including creativity and enterprise contributing to capability for active and responsible citizenship via independent thought, solving problems, self expression, observe/reflect on environments.

28 EfC: Issues confronting schools Education about citizenship? –Factual Education through and for citizenship? –Participation and action (more problematic?)

29 Universitys curriculum review implications: incoming students CfE, AifL and EfC should mean that our students incoming from schools Take more responsibility for their own learning – review and targets Have greater awareness and understanding of different learning styles Will have experiences and developed skills in a range of types of assessment (formative/summative, peer/self) Share in a deeper understanding of the standard and the clear criteria for success (what they need to be able to do, apply and/or know) Value detailed positive feedback on how to improve Participate in meaningful interaction and learning conversations - not be silently compliant These will have major implications in relation to student expectations of their future learning and assessment experiences in the University and also major effects therefore on staff.

30 Qualifications and Achievement Currently ongoing national consultations (to end March) : Awareness that some children are doing external exams in each of the last 4 years of secondary school. Is this good for their learning and development? Formal consultation on changes for Level 4 and 5 qualifications (SG/Int 1 & 2) but no current changes planned at level 3, 6(H)/7(AH). Bologna agreement – but most intake have Highers (at level 6 our 1 st year) not AH – partnerships issue FE/schools Recognition of wider achievement across all levels – developments ongoing between SG, LTS and SQA - perhaps there will be a need for University admissions to take more note of this and the skills incoming students bring into the University in the future. Links to demographics and mature applicants and part time studies

31 Citizenship From EfC to responsible citizens Links to incoming students wider achievement and development of Core/ Cross cutting skills profiles Emphasis on responsibility & active participation in the local community as well as individual rights Student involvement in developing curriculum Increasingly look across and between traditional subject boundaries.

32 Relevant references for CfE and AifL Curriculum for Excellence AiFL Teachers toolkit online The SSA for Language and Communication 2005 including results on core skillslink to and provide evidence for the CfE 3- 18 capacities? (See also SSA Social Subjects Enquiry skills 2006 ) Black et al (2000) Working Inside the Black Box Paul Black & Dylan Wiliam 1998 Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment Assessment Reform Group 2002 Beyond the Black Box Miller, & Lavin, F, 2005 Formative assessment and childrens views of themselves as learners. P 10 www.LTScotland/assesswww.LTScotland/assess Newsletters archive for Autumn 2005 (7) Cowan, E. M. 2005. Assessment is for Learning: Experience of two student cohorts.pp 8-9 www.LTScotland/assess Newsletters archive for Autumn 2005 (7)www.LTScotland/assess Other sources: McGuinness, C 1999 From Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms. DfEE. Norwich,uk/kestage3/respub/afl_ws

33 Relevant references for EfC LTS 2002 Education for Citizenship in Scotland: a document for development and discussion Cleaver et al 2003 in Teaching Citizenship 7: 15-19 Clark, Cowan, McMurtry & Cooney 2004 Citizenship: the view from North of the Border in Register of Research in Primary Geography 4: 25-29 Ireland, Kerr et al 2004 Citizenship Education 2 nd Annual Report. Research Report 531. Leighton 2004 in Teaching Citizenship 9: 26-31 Sutherland 2002 in Education in the North 10: 65-79 Torney-Purta et al 2001 Citizenship and Education in 28 countries: Civic Knowledge & Participation at Age 14. Amsterdam: IEA Twine 2002 in Education in the North 10: 80-82

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