Today I started facilitator training for a registered course – Designing an Integrated Curriculum for Stages 4 & 5. It looks like a great course – practical, using Project Based Learning and some wonderful resources for assessment & reporting.
There are a few minor issues:
1. References to 21st century learning skills
2. An activity using Gardener’s multiple intelligences and
3. The repeated reference to “but not Maths”
I spoke up about the first two issues but thought raising another point of contention would have seen me ejected.
So let’s address these now:
1. given that every current student in NSW has completed all their learning in the 21st Century and has been accessing their 21st Century learning skills we may need to move on from this term. It is only some of their teachers that may need some work on this.
2. Gardener himself has admitted that his theory was not meant to be used in the ways it has been. Like the left brain-right brain myth, neuroscience has moved us on. We should have various ways to present material because it engages all learners and not because someone thinks that it is our preferred learning style.
3. Whilst it is difficult to fit the multiple subject levels of stage 5 Maths into Project Based Learning with an Integrated Curriculum, it is not impossible. Frankly. I think it gives Maths teachers permission to not try something new or outside of the box. To qualify, not all maths teachers are like this. (Only about 70% of the ones I have worked have been). How many times have I heard, “that doesn’t work in maths”. Come on Maths peeps, you are teaching the results of some of histories most brilliant and creative thinkers, surely a bit of integration & PBL can’t be that hard. (Please, no hate mail.)
I will change these aspects of the course when I deliver. I’m looking forward to mentoring the development of some amazing work (including Maths).