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One School’s Journey

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  1. One School’s Journey MPA CPA August 2008

  2. Significance of the NZ Draft Curriculum • It was timely as we were about to develop a new 3 year Charter and strategic plan. • Initial response – we are already doing it, only need to tweak things to fit … • After consultation and development workshops a clear, meaningful, unique, curriculum framework was developed. • Important point - surface versus deep commitment through action research project.

  3. Major Step 1: Surface versus deep commitment – What does this look like/mean? How do we ensure we are child centred? How can we cater for diverse learners? How can we personalise learning? Are we culturally competent?

  4. Cultural Competence In theory, "cultural competence" in the classroom means being able to teach children from diverse backgrounds. Cultural competence is not composed of merely attitudes or sensibilities; cultural competence is defined by actions and altered behaviours that accompany respectful understanding. Developing cultural competence is a long-term process. Accordingly, cultural competence cannot necessarily be achieved through compartmentalized instruction sessions or interventions – it must be honed through perpetual individual and institutional efforts in order to be effectively employed.

  5. What does this look like/mean? Bishop, 2003 Effective Teachers of Diverse Learners - descriptors Having high expectations and voicing and/or writing this often Having clear teaching goals and communicating/negotiating these with students Having a strong commitment to developing students’ learning (understanding and growth) Having a strong commitment to teaching students how to learn Continually and critically reflecting on their own teaching Not accepting mediocrity from anyone (especially themselves)

  6. Constantly supporting and rewarding efforts and learning by students Taking personal and professional responsibility for student learning Clearly identifying what is expected of students or what such learning actually involves Having a clear philosophy of teaching i.e. understanding “the why”Being passionate about their subject or for what is being taught Adapting their teaching, being willing to do so Making homework relevant and checking it carefully and responsively

  7. Alexandra Primary SchoolCurriculum Framework

  8. Consultation and Development through: • TOD & staff meetings – examining what is important, where are we headed, what does it look like … • Community survey on teaching & learning • Kid’s curriculum group meetings Designed own survey Surveyed students Parent/caregiver phone survey Collated results and reported the findings • Staff/kid’s curriculum group developed visual metaphor • Draft framework developed and shared • Final version adopted – banner & Charter published. • Banner integrated into classrooms.

  9. Our visual metaphor

  10. Vision Statement:Alexandra Primary SchoolMy Pathway to the Future We believe that education throughout life (life-long learning) is developed from the foundation of four pillars:

  11. Education takes place throughout life in many forms in an all-encompassing fashion. Likewise the four pillars cannot stand alone. (UNESCO)

  12. How we want students to learnOur Approaches To Learning

  13. Our Approaches to Learning

  14. Values & Habits of Mind Values are those things that really matter to each of us ... the ideas and beliefs we hold as special. Habits of Mind describe the kinds of “thinking habits” we need to have in order to be as successful as possible at solving all sorts of problems. Both Values and Habits of Mind need to be understood and practiced regularly in order to become “second nature”. At Alexandra Primary School we are currently focusing on developing the following Values and Habits of Mind:

  15. Values & Habits of Mind Programme

  16. Inquiry Learning Process (Kath Murdoch)

  17. 4 Pillars of Learning (UNESCO)encompassing the Key Competency Groups (KCG) 1. Learning to Know (pillar) Developing a broad general knowledge Using Language, Symbols, and Texts (KCG) Interpreting & using words, numbers, images, movements, & technologies in a range of contexts; making appropriate choices of language & symbols.

  18. Through learning experiences in:

  19. 4 Pillars + KCG 2. Learning to Do (pillar) Developing a broad range of skills & strategies. Thinking(KCG) To think creatively & critically, reflect on their learning, actively seek knowledge, challenge assumptions. Managing Self (KCG) To be self-motivated, set personal goals, make plans, be resilient, act appropriately.

  20. Through developing skills in:

  21. 4 Pillars + KCG 3. Learning to Be (pillar) Developing dispositions, intra-personal skills, physical capacities, aesthetic sense, communication skills, the ability to act with a better sense of judgement & responsibility. Relating to others (KCG) To interact effectively, listen actively, to negotiate, to share ideas.

  22. Through experiencing programmes in:

  23. 4 Pillars + KCG 4. Learning to Live Together (pillar) Developing the ability to work in a team & learn collaboratively Participating & Contributing (KCG) Responding appropriately as a group member, participating & contributing, creating opportunities for others to participate.

  24. Through participating in:

  25. Why? – Our Vision – Developing Life Long Learners – Pillars of Learning How? – Identified Teaching & Learning Approaches and ELA Programmes What? – Learning Themes and Key Competencies Specificity of Key Competencies, Knowledge, Values

  26. Learning Themes • A learning theme is based on the idea that people acquire knowledge best when learning in the context of a coherent "whole," and when they can connect what they're learning to the real world. • The four broad learning themes, while comprised of distinct essential knowledge, essential skills and activities, have overlapping aspects that work together to strengthen each theme. • The learning themes are focused on the future global citizen ethos. That is, they encompass topics that will inform, challenge and enlighten students about their present world and their future world.

  27. Sustainability Understanding the need to maintain & improve the quality of life now without changing the planet for future generations. Communication Making sense of and communicating with the world. Diversity Understanding & respecting differences with an open mind. Who we are. Citizenship Learning how to become active informed and responsible citizens.

  28. Why? – Our Vision – Developing Life Long Learners – Pillars of Learning How? – Identified Teaching & Learning Approaches and ELA Programmes What? – Learning Themes and Key Competencies Specificity of Key Competencies, Knowledge, Values

  29. Unpacking the key competencies;What do they mean/look like at our school?

  30. Links between the Key Competencies & Inquiry Learning

  31. Developing the Key Competencies in Context Through the Process of Inquiry Learning

  32. Key Competency Development Key Ideas (based on readings, and discussion, of NZ Draft Curriculum (2006),Carr (2006) and Hipkins (2006, 2007). • We view KCs as ‘capacities to aspire’. • Competencies are more complex than skills. • Competencies continue to develop over time, shaped by interactions with people places ideas and things. • Key competencies are complex, have different intentions, interactions and learning opportunities. Because “competence is a product of the interaction of attributes of individuals and the context in which they operate” scrutiny of the characteristics of individual key competencies alone is insufficient to explain effective performance in a range of settings.

  33. Because of their interactive nature, there is no universal and context-free range of competency-strength for any one learner for all occasions; it doesn’t make sense to say, for instance, that a particular student has reached a particular level for “Relating to others”. Key competencies need to be seen as wholes, not just as the sum of their parts.The learner who is to build rich connections across all five types of resources (the KC groups) is likely to become a life-long learner.

  34. Dimensions of strength for the key competencies: • Mindfulness – whereby the learner takes responsibility for, takes the initiative and develops the key competencies in strength. • Breadth – connecting the key competencies and transferring them to all aspects of school life (community life). • Frequency – the key competencies will become more frequent over time, within the same intention. By providing robust platforms (Inquiry Learning, SRL skills, and the Values and Habits of Mind programme) the key competencies will be used in other situations. • Complexity – recognizing the need to use the key competencies for different purposes. (Carr, 2006)

  35. At APS we develop and strengthen the key competencies through particular learning programmes – Inquiry, Values and Habits of Mind, and Self-Regulated Learning - and develop formative information for teachers, learners and parents through the activities within these programmes.

  36. The table that follows defines the key competencies which presently, underpin our teaching and learning foci. The key competencies are viewed as a map not a level progression. They will guide teacher planning, may be used as a class and or individual self reflection tool, and as a goal setting tool. They underpin our “being” at this particular time.

  37. APS Key Competency Descriptor Continuum

  38. TOD Term 2 2008 • Making connections to the principles & values • Adopting the principles & values • Formulating ELA statements – the Lester Flockton model Alex example • Re-defining the attributes of a 21 century learner • Revisiting our understandings about the KCs • Melding the two - defining the KCs of a 21 century learner, for our school • Revising the KC Continuum • Developing ways of unpacking the KCs further with our students

  39. For example: • The KC Kid. • Staff discussion starter (a famous person). • Defining what each KC group might look like for each classroom – Y chart. • Set homework tasks around the KC groups. • Develop short descriptions of what people who have developed particular KCs might say & do.

  40. Gathering evidence of student development of key competencies

  41. Ideas/Quotes we discussed/debated from articles and/or research

  42. Common key messages about key competency assessment type (Hipkins, Boyd & Joyce,2007) New forms of assessment are needed which promote co-constructed formative assessment. Portfolio-type self-assessments or observations of key competencies grounded within authentic learning situations are better suited to supporting learners to develop key competencies and for validly assessing key competencies.

  43. The learner should be involved in discussion about progress or in making decisions about selecting the evidence and the learner should be involved in decisions about judging the evidence.Key competencies should be assessed holistically or discretely.More than one task and more than one form of evidence are needed to adequately deal with issues of reliability and validity.

  44. Assessment should explore ways to capture the learning that occurs outside of school - involvement of parents, and members of the students’ wider community, could be incorporated into the model.Assessments need to be manageable and aligned with curriculum and pedagogy.

  45. Looking at assessment through a different lens – these assumptions made us think!Hipkins, 2007. Assumptions: • Performance is context specific , so competency is judged only after evidence has been accumulated from a range of performances in varying contexts. • Tasks need to be meaningful and engaging for the student. • Changes across similar performances may represent evidence of learning as the competencies in question are adapted for use in new tasks.