In this context, the practitioner is less like the bulldozer driver carving a way through the landscape to a pre conceived objective, more like a combination of canoeist shooting the rapids and creative artist exploring possibilities and waiting for inspiration.
(Mike Radford, 2007)
The quote above is my favourite teaching metaphor and one that I re-read regularly. It came to mind several times through this week where it really did feel like we were ‘Shooting the Rapids.’ Continue reading
NZC pg 44
I sent this image out on twitter yesterday and provoked a large discussion which I felt I could no longer answer in less than 140 characters. So, here goes my interpretation of what this means: Continue reading
Our aim Friday was to explore the core concepts of the New Zealand Curriculum to start focusing on what learning needs to occur next year.
The first major point of interest to emerge was how differently each learning area is organised within the curriculum. Many learning areas were organised by concepts but others focused on skills, dispositions or a mix of the three. Nevertheless we were able to help each other understand how to extract the threshold concepts from each of the areas.
By focusing on one learning area each and extracting the concepts from the curriculum, we soon got our initial impressions of the 8 Learning Areas. Then as a group we discussed what had been gathered during the first step. At the end of these discussions we had the core of what the learning area was aiming to achieve and the threshold concepts that learners need to develop to be able to achieve that core aim.
As an example of this Social Sciences has the core concepts of Society; Issues; Active Citizenship; and Relationship between Society and the Environment. The threshold concepts to reach this core were: Economy; Environment; Organisation and Systems; Biculturalism; Place; Change; Perspectives; Continuity; Identity; Culture; Sustainability; Community; Diversity; and Social Action.
This meant we ended the week with the threshold concepts of the entire NZC up on the wall of our “Hacking Cave”
NZC Threshold Concepts
There are some clear cross-overs that were noticed during the process and next week we will get to focus in on this aspect – where are the opportunities for authentic integration?
I have been having some great discussions this week with Stephen Matthews (@srmdrummer) around teaching geographic concepts that have made me revisit my philosophy and teaching approach. This video of Sir Ken Robinson talking about subjects as disciplines provides a good example of the discussions we have had:
I believe that Geography is concerned with social issues and that geographic educators should be equipping their students to take action in society. Increasingly global issues such as climate change, globalisation, sustainability and social justice are making headlines and Geography should assist students with their understanding of these issues. Continue reading
To introduce my Geography classes to our key geographic concepts we have watched Step Up 4: Miami Heat (called Step Up Revolution originally) this week.
Before watching we did a concept and definition mix and match activity where the concepts and a definition were on laminated cards. Once all pairs/groups had sorted the definitions together the students wrote the concepts down in their books leaving about 3-4 lines after each one. Continue reading