I have to confess that I am more of a silent stalker in the professional communities I follow than I am an active voice, and this is often the way I prefer it. I like to be able to read other’s ideas and posts and reflect on what it means for me and my context. If I like it and think it has value, I will often share it on within my own circles. However, at times I feel compelled to respond and join in the conversation, but that is the exception, not the norm.
Learning about the conceptions of curriculum and how they manifest themselves through planning, teaching and assessing compelled me to write. For weeks I have been composing posts in my head about how the different conceptions may influence some of the challenges, successes and frustrations I experience in my role. The only challenge has been finding the time to sit and write these posts. Its been one of ‘those’ weeks.
You can read what I posted to Facebook here:
I managed to get two done this weekend. The PYP has released some communications about changes to the programme and I enjoyed looking at them through the lens of learner and society centred perspectives. The concept of agency, which is central to both conceptions, has become a more explicit idea within the enhanced PYP and it will be exciting to see how the IB defines it and expects to see it in practice.
The other issue I’ve wanted to write about is how we build our curriculum. In PYP schools we all have to design our own units of inquiry. We have complete freedom over subject content, so many schools have turned to a variety of national curriculum documents to gather ideas and select outcomes. This led me to wonder how many of our units actually reflect the IB’s social reconstructionist perspective of curriculum. I’m happy to report that just under half of my school’s units do, but the next biggest group are subject-centred, though assessment is largely done through a variety of observational, process-focused or performance-based tasks.
Thankfully my PYP Facebook communities are very active so there have been opportunities for me to share my thoughts and receive some responses and likes.
None of them have led to particularly deep conversations yet, but I remain hopeful. One of them did spark a conversation in the Workshop Leader’s forum about redesigning professional development in an effort to get away from the 2 and 3 day workshop models that, while enjoyable, do not necessarily move practice that much.
Engaging more actively in my communities does make me feel more connected, which is saying something given the physical isolation of our island life. I have resolved to contribute my original content once a month and continue to reflect on how our conceptions of curriculum might be dictating how we engage with the written, taught and assessed curriculum.
For more information on the communities I connected with, see my electronic journal: Connecting with my Professional Communities.