As we all get used to the fact that we are teaching for another academic year, I thought I would write a brief post to let everyone know the approach I’ve been taking in the classroom.
Firstly, I’ve decided to cut down on the exposition element of my practice having been convinced that this transmissionist approach does little to develop learners’ ‘higher order skills’. I’ve provided all my classes with ‘brief’ lessons on the concept of learning and attempted to get them to think about how knowledge can evolve-creating opportunities to cultivate a deeper understanding of concepts and how they interconnect across a diverse set of disciplines. I am also mindful of the comments made by the “Higher Order Skills” group. Chaired by Keir Bloomer in relation to the implementation of CfE:
“There are those who clearly envisage it (Curriculum for Excellence) as a short-term programme of change, much like any other. If this view prevails, courses may be slightly adapted to conform to the surface requirements of the experiences and outcomes. Inter-disciplinary learning will feature around the margins of the curriculum. Improved pedagogy will be patchily evident. New examinations will replace old. Boxes will be ticked but Scotland will not have risen to the demands of the new age.”
In a previous post, I mentioned a social enterprise project that involved a partnership with the local credit union. Although in its early stages, there is emerging evidence that learners will benefit greatly from their participation-I have endeavoured to frame the venture within the four capacities of CfE:
- The bespoke course includes the use of http://rbsmoneysense.co.uk/schools/students , a Royal Bank of Scotland scheme designed to improve financial literacy and promote independent living.
- The following SQA Unit is integrated into the design and delivery of the project: Financial Services: Personal Finance Awareness DM7X 11 (Intermediate 2)
- Learners are charged with the organisation, management, marketing and operation of the Credit Union with support from tutors and Credit Union Staff.
- Learners are encouraged through activities, research and exposition to fully understand the implications of financial exclusion, the relationship between the lack of financial literacy and social deprivation.
- The Credit Union ethos is built on community cohesion and civic responsibility
- The co-operative spirit of the Credit Union is emulated by the independence of the student cohort in developing appropriate strategies for success.
- Ethical issues are explored through the examination of the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.
- Learners are encouraged, through research and activities, to examine the financial, social and ethical issues that relate to financial products made available to the citizens of Scotland.
- Learners work independently on all aspects of the Social Enterprise activity.
- An oversight committee monitors all activities of the project. Membership includes four learners, two JWC staff and a representative of 1st Alliance.
- Learners work on sub-projects, including the use of social media in marketing and promotion.
I will continue to post on the project’s progress throughout the year.