Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Curriculum making

Image above: The Geography Association in the UK. An amazing resource and the leaders in the concept of curriculum making.

Related sites to Humsteach blog
Spatialworlds blog
ACARA curriculum portal
ACARA site
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Spatialworlds website

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What is curriculum making?

Curriculum making is the creative act of interpreting a curriculum specification or scheme of work and turning it into a coherent, challenging, engaging and enjoyable scheme of work.
Curriculum making is a job that really never ends and lies at the heart of good teaching.
When educators talk about curriculum making we refer to the creation of interesting, engaging and challenging educational encounters which draw upon teacher knowledge and skills, the experiences of students and the valuable subject resources of the subject. Curriculum making is concerned with holding all this in balance and as a teacher you play a key role.

Why curriculum making? 
The potential and promise of a subject is compromised if it is seen only as an inert or static 'knowledge-to-be-delivered'. Covering the syllabus is just the mechanics of teaching and is not the same as making the curriculum.
Curriculum making is about bringing a curriculum alive. It is about enacting the curriculum and giving it purpose. Geography and history are resources that can enable students to better understand the world and their place in it. It aims for a deep understanding.
The inquiry-led approach lies at the heart of teaching and learning in the Australian Curriculum: geography and History. Humanities teachers perform a delicate balancing act, drawing upon the student's experiences, the subject resource and their own knowledge and craft skills.

The essence of curriculum making 
The following diagram captures the essence of curriculum making. Think of the diagram as a kind of 'corrective', always aiming for somewhere in the middle. Engage with the subject, listen to your students and question the value of what you are teaching.

Diagram from the Geography Association UK

The inquiry approach contains four central aspects including the creation of a 'need to know' through the use of an engaging stimulus. It then develops through the collection and use of data, processing and making sense of that data and finally reflecting on learning in order to apply it to future enquiries.
This process has been captured in a single diagram (adapted from Roberts, 2003).

During the tutorials we will use the deconstructing triangle for geography and history  to start the exciting process of curriculum making within the context of backward designing the curriculum.

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