Category Archives: Curriculum

The Curriculum’s Tongues of Fire

Unknown-2When does the curriculum go from a book on shelf with structured descriptions to a global language that needs  expression and understanding from all corners of the planet?

The word curriculum is often associated with a set of rules to follow. A set of formats to include. A set of biased and , arguably, knowledgeable formulated ideals. The home page of the new National Australian curriculum states:

The Australian Curriculum describes what young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling.

What does this mean? What the “students SHOULD learn”….

This term is static, its lifeless, its “play dough gone hard”. In the 21st century when students and teachers are able to access each other in every planet in the world in an instant, they are expecting much more than static..they want an ongoing, flexible, relevant, challenging, motivating  curriculum laced with creativity and imagination. Continue reading

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Dear Abbey…Sincerely, Curriculum

images-2Dear Abbey,

I don’t know where else to turn. I feel so misunderstood.

I have heard people call me “explicit” and say I am such an extrovert and like to be  on “public display”. They accuse me of being the way I am so as to appease people who don’t have a day to day impact on my life. They say I just simply show the outward things about me and that I am hiding other things that aren’t so obvious to the public.

Then there are those who call me by the name “Implicit” and say I encourage conformity. I am accused of “fostering compliant behaviour” (Eisner, 2002) and that I don’t encourage creativity or innovation. I want to, believe me,  but am scared what others around me will object to if I do. Honestly, I am not really wanting to modify anyone’s behaviour. I really want to encourage people to do things because they want to not because I make them. I want them to be motivated by themselves not because they feel they have to because of me.  I just can’t help it sometimes. They misunderstood me, truly , and I especially don’t want to pressure them to do things because time is a factor. I am just trying to teach them social virtues and punctuality (Eisner, 2002). These people even suggest that the way I look affects others around me. I can’t help it what I look like. I don’t always have a say about the furniture I use, or the resources I have available to me. Yet, I am blamed for them.

The last accusation they say I am is neglectful and I purposely don’t include things that matter. I don’t have time for everything! I can only do so much! I know I should be more open to including other things like being more open to suggestions and comments  from others but I can’t always do that. I have to be honest, depending who I am with, my choice of what is important and what isn’t will change. Is that my fault? These are the ones who call me a most hurtful name…they call me null. It makes me feel like I am not valid, I am void of any purpose and yet I am the complete opposite.

All I know is that I feel that I am most happiest when I am around people who let me be more free, more adaptable, less restricted, more creative and give me chances to think and reflect. I want to show them that I can also give people a chance to be innovative and imaginative when they are with me.

I have had lots of educated people say they would love to help me change but I still feel so controlled by more senior people in society. Please help!

 

Sincerely,

Curriculum.

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What Are Educators Missing?

I grew up in a time where the rows of classroom seats were perfectly aligned. The step platform elevated me to a dusty blackboard. The sun drenched classroom windows were exposed to the elements. The teacher stood out the front, usually on the elevated platform so as to get a clear view of the children in the far back row. I say far because there were usually around 36 – 40 students in the class split into rows of 3-4.

 

This classroom is familiar to many  teachers and for some this is still the method of teaching. Very much teacher centred. But before I throw this scenario  out the window, Continue reading

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Filed under Classroom Designs, Confidence, Curriculum, Gilly Salmon, Internet, Learning Environment, Learning Spaces, Online Learning

A Future “Generating Knowledge” Space Design Brief

All Working TogetherThis is a reflection I have visited so often lately, that is, to brief a future learning space. One that will keep up with changes socially, environmentally and technically. And the more I reflect on this the more “dense” and “thickened” my ideas become. To the point that I no longer felt I had a clear vision.

What would be needed in a future learning space in the outback is on a completely different level and purpose to the city. What would be needed if the world resources continue to dive is not “predictable” in just one area as education as so much is affected by it.

Then this morning I realised that no matter how many times I scribed my thoughts on paper, on the computer, in my eyes there is no “crystal ball”, no solution, no correct answer. It was all about current research, current ideas and future perceptions. Continue reading

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Filed under 21st Century Learning, Classroom Designs, Communities of Practice, Curriculum, Hedley Beare, Learning Environment, Learning Spaces

MY HEAD HURTS

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Starting new at university after 20 plus years is not easy especially when my days at university were incredibly different to today. On-line learning…what is that?

My days at uni were all still about learning obviously but “back then” I thought a professional looking assignment was the one that I submitted after typing it out on a typewriter with built in liquid paper!

So, as I ponder what units I will choose to study next semester I spent some time looking at some of the key elements of this unit. That is, my first university study after all these years…no wonder my head hurts!

I remember my lecturer saying to us at the beginning of the unit “I don’t want to inundate you with everything in one go”. How busy could it be, I thought? I am sure, with the “wisdom of age” behind me I would be ok…hmmm…

Well, I started to mind map my unit and look how much we have explored, and probably a lot more I have missed out on here…my head can’t think past these.

It was an interesting exercise because what I thought would be a unit of physical “Learning Spaces” turns out to be so much more…so much more!EDFD459mind map

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The Curricula Trinity

Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only the particular thing he is studying at the time. (John Dewey)

V31A3562Trying to understand curriculum is a “task and a half” on its own. Brady and Kennedy, in “Curriculum Construction 4th Edition”, described curriculum as  providing ” a blueprint for teaching / learning for an extended period of time”

Yet the curriculum that is generally discussed   is really a “trinity of curriculums”. That is, three parts to the one whole curriculum.

These three parts are known as explicit, implicit and null curriculum. And they are evident in every classroom and every school environment. Continue reading

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Open Planned Collaborative Learning Spaces

open planned

In my experiences and understanding, Open Plan Learning Spaces are a distinct term opposed to Open Planned Teaching Spaces.

The obvious difference in these terms is reflected in the saying that :

Just because you taught me doesn’t mean I learnt”. Continue reading

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