SLAC Conferencee-literacy: think differently, act differently, learn differently16 March 2012 Dr David HowesGeneral Manager, Curriculum DivisionVCAA
Session purpose • To clarify the requirements of schools in Victoria in relation to the implementation of the Australian Curriculum • To explore the opportunities represented by the introduction of the Australian Curriculum • To introduce the new pilot Extended Investigation VCE study
Current status Australian Curriculum Another historic milestone towards implementation of Australia’s first national school curriculum was reached with Ministers endorsing the achievement standards for Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum in English, mathematics, science and history. Following Ministers’ endorsement of the curriculum content for these first four learning areas in December last year, theachievement standards were refined after a validation process .... ACARA will provide student work samples that illustrate achievement against each standard in the four learning areas in 2011 and during 2012 to enable the standards to be consistently interpreted and assessed across the nation. MCEEYDYA Communiqué 14 October 2011
… because curriculum constructs individuals • a particular, historically formed knowledge that inscribes rules and standards by which we “reason” about the world and our “self” as a productive member of that world … Curriculum is a disciplining technology that directs how the individual is to act, feel, talk and “see” the world and “self’. As such, curriculum is a form of social regulation. • (Popkewitz,1997 p. 132).
The matter of definitions… • Curriculum … • All the structures, organisation and activities of a school • Intended, enacted, experienced • Syllabus as the structure, curriculum as the teaching program • Imposed vs student-led
A working definition • The curriculum is the defined and mandated set of knowledge and skills that schools are required to teach and assess. • A democratic entitlement rather than individual determination of what is required for effective, participatory citizenship.
Does curriculum planning matter? • Robert Marzano’s analysis of school effectiveness research (2003): • a guaranteed and viable curriculum as the school level factor that has the most impact on student achievement. • Empirical evidence that a characteristic of underperforming schools is lack of curriculum documentation • Empirical evidence that what is not taught is not learnt – osmosis is not an effective teaching and learning strategy
Compliance requirements 2013 • All sectors • Assess and report student achievement against new achievement standards for English, Mathematics, Science and History in 2013 • Government and Catholic sectors • Assess and report against remaining VELS strands
Information about the Victorian curriculum is provided through three distinct web pages located under a new “F -10 Curriculum” tab on the - VCAA home page : 2013+ Curriculum Updates 2012 Planning resources AusVELS VELS Support AusVELS
AusVELS • Current VELS structure with Learning Focus and Standards for English, Mathematics, Science and History replaced with Australian Curriculum Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards • Move from six to eleven levels • VELS subjects: “even” number levels “working towards level X” • Nomenclature as per current VELS • Emphasis on curriculum as developmental continuum not separate “blocks” of knowledge
AusVELS a single, coherent curriculum framework and web portal for all Victorian schools and teachers; a stable curriculum structure to incorporate further Australian Curriculum subjects (Geography, Languages, The Arts, Health and Physical Education, ICT and Design and Technology, and Business and Economics) maintains leading features of Victorian approach to curriculum enables inclusion of specific Victorian content/references in some curriculum areas (Mathematics/Science) and elaborations
2014 + • Geography in 2014 • Health/PE, The Arts, Technologies, Languages, Civics and Citizenship, Business and Economics in 2014-2015 • General capabilities?
General capabilities • Literacy • Numeracy • ICT • Personal and social capability • Critical and creative thinking • Intercultural understanding • Ethical behaviour
This matters for literacy • “Students in the lower 50% of their class in reading achievement who received the AB4L program showed statistically significant improvement in their reading comprehension performance”. • “Those students who received the AB4L program and who showed improvements in their behaviours for learning demonstrated statistically significant improvements in their reading comprehension performance” • Report on the “Attitudes and Behaviours for Learning Project” (AB4L) • Professor Michael Bernard, University of Melbourne
Cross-curriculum priorities • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia • Sustainability
Cross-curriculum priorities • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
Role of school librarians • New resources on new topics (esp History) • Resources for bringing topics together to address cross-curriculum priorities
Victorian approach Continuity with/building on key aspects of VELS and common practice in many independent schools: whole-school approaches to curriculum opportunity for innovation at school level within overall standards developmental continuum student centred interdisciplinary skills Commitment to implementation of Australian Curriculum as approved by all States and Territories
Extended investigation • New VCE study • Units 3/4 • Purpose: “To develop students’ capacity to identify and ask good questions” • Structure: • Introduction to critical thinking • Introduction to research methodogologies • Question selection refinement • Oral defence of question and methodology • Critical thinking test • 4000 word essay • Oral defence of essay
Sample questions • Extended investigation proposal summary:: My study will focus on the rich history of the Gore Street Church, its influence on the Fitzroy community and look closely at the Aboriginal movements which grew out of it.Proposed research question: What role did the Gore Street Church play in the Fitzroy Community with particular regard to the development of Aboriginal activism in Victoria.
Sample questions • Extended investigation proposal summary:: plants and phototropismProposed research question: "How will different wavelengths of lights affect the growth of potted plants?"
Role of school librarians • Promotion of individual, independent research • Potential supervision of students • Teaching research skills, including ethics • Teaching self-paced learning skills • Teaching essay-writing skills • Teaching oral presentation techniques
Contact Details • Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority • (VCAA) • Dr David Howes • General Manager, Curriculum Division • email: firstname.lastname@example.org • ph: (03) 9651 4524 • www.vcaa.vic.edu.au