What learner are you working to develop? I wonder if this is a question that we ask ourselves often…if not at all? I wonder what the ideal form looks like to other teachers and schools. At my school, we have spending a considerable amount of time and energy in fleshing out what the Primary, Middle Years and Senior Years learner looks like? Our rationale? It is us working with the end in the mind, the holistic end in mind. Work on learner development has been done in separate silos unfortunately but it has brought three different perspectives to the table. Personally I have been working with Richard Olsen (@richardolsen) on how to bring this all together. For the redevelopment of our Multimedia curriculum, we were given carte blanche to completely reshape and reinvigorate the program. There was huge crossover with the Visual Communication and Design course in the Middle Years but no real path for those students interested in media, technology or VCD. Our first step was to define the learner we wanted at the end of Year 9. We used Richard’s developmental profile tool on www.modernlearningcanvas.com to do this. In a previous post, I explained the four categories he has highlighted as key. The below image is where we landed.
Our plan is to rewrite the Year 7 curriculum first and continue to sharpen our direction and focus by failing small and fast and then roll the learnings out for Year 8 and 9. Once we knew where we were heading, we then developed our proposed pedagogical model which I shared in my last post and have listed below.
Having spent time developing our ideal learner form, we had much more clarity around what we needed pedagogically. We were able to validate the nine areas to see if they were assisting to develop the learners we desired. We know that we are introducing the design thinking process to Year 7s so there needs to be large element of scaffolding, access to examples and trial and error. Pedagogically we believe that scaffolding is essential to really understanding the process and thriving. Our sequence of learning caters for this and the teacher role flips between an expert who leads and models to a facilitator who questions and prods. The design thinking process enables the learner to iterate and reflect and to do this often. To kick start the pedagogical change, our Head of VCD facilitated a staff workshop where the staff teaching the subject next year (myself included) went through the whole process as a learner. This allows us to build empathy, flesh out poorly scaffolded areas and to lead as learners. In my next post, I will talk about the next evolution of this process…the lean process of finding out. Thanks for reading everyone. As always, comments welcome.