Tag Archives: Curriculum

Teachers Don’t Know It All

photo    Over the last fews days I have been the proudest mother on the planet. Both my daughters, aged 10 and 8,  sang and performed as part of Opera Australia’s “The Magic Flute”. At that age I was more concerned about whether I had a handball square at “little lunch” time or whether I had the latest Holly Hobby colouring pencils and accessories, which were the craze when I was their age. Would I have sung on stage with Opera Australia and the answer would be a clear no. But in fairness to my own parents the opportunities were quite limited for me as I was growing up for many reasons. And overall I would never have had the singing voice to sing anyway.

But the point of this post is to have educators be more open to different learning spaces and arenas to learn within. Over the last week my children have gained so much knowledge about theatre, singing, independence, the arts, teamwork, self discipline, timing, personal responsibilities, movement and the list goes on. How does a teacher program all these things in a couple of days within classroom walls and be assured that the students were attaining them. If I had tried to teach my children what they had gained recently I can be sure that it wouldn’t have been half as appealing as it was to be taught but professionals in the field.

So why is it that we teachers feel that they need to know everything to be able to teach our students. Perhaps teaching should include the term facilitator of learning or learning planner and leave the learning to the “professionals”. Inviting people from within our communities should be encouraged. The curriculum should be allowed to be more fluid. It fact it should be encouraged to be more fluid. Instead we contain our curriculum within the confinements of a classroom and expect ourselves, teachers,  to be the experts at everything.

I also ask teachers to be mindful that these students, outside the classroom arena, are engaged in incredible learning experiences and to acknowledge the learning that is happening in these areas without the usual classroom teacher involved.

It doesn’t make sense  to me anymore that we limit our students learning to one individual. Please, I ask you to consider, extending the walls of the classroom to include more opportunities and more people in the learning process…how much more exciting would it be!

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Culture’s Role In Transformative Learning

Let’s for this exercise define culture as a “geographical point on a map”. What makes this point different to other points and identifiable are its “landmarks”. These landmarks are recognised by their name and their description. Landmarks, such as literature, language, food, religion, clothes, politics, gender roles and others, as shown in the diagram below. Each culture, over a period of time, brings all these “landmarks” together in differing proportions and descriptions, as well as placing conflicting levels of importance on each. This is known as the dominant culture of the area at that point in time.

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The probability of having two culture points on the map with the exact expectations simultaneously in each of these landmarks is zero and hence the reason why so many cultures exist. But what if a culture joins another culture and tries to co-exist on the same point on the “map”? Continue reading

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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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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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21st Century Sustainable Learning Spaces Are Two Faced

face2faceLearning in the 21st century is “two faced” One face of hope, international collaboration and experiences which will benefit human kind especially in terms of education and medicine. But the other face of 21st century learning is the drastic effect of mining and refining the earth resources so as to make technology accessible, faster, more adaptable and wide-spread. Continue reading

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Natives of the Curriculum Learning Space

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Curriculum “…provides a blueprint for teaching / learning for an extended period of time” (Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. 2007 pp.155).

The key for me is that our occupation of the curriculum as a teacher is over a period of time. Just as a CofP is a backwards and forwards reference point of collaboration, so too is a curriculum. It is a “gathering place” of knowledge, experiences and evaluations.

The curriculum provides the “directions” but doesn’t necessarilly determine the “mode of travel” or the “ultimate destination point”. Hence, “blueprint”. Continue reading

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