I’ve written a lot about curriculum in the last year or so… so here’s a one-stop-shop to access them all in place:
Clarification about the idea of ‘knowledge rich’ and the wider context.
I have found recent discussions and debates about the concept of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’ – or knowledge-led; knowledge-based – fascinating. Some of this has been explored brilliantly in various blogs. Here is a selection: Summer Turner https://ragazzainglese.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/pub-quiz-or-published-what-are-the-aims-of-a-knowledge-rich-curriculum/ Jon Brunskill I’m bringing knowledge back. | Pedfed which is worth reading along with his school’s website info on … Continue reading
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Clare Sealy’s lovely school, St Matthias, tucked in just off Brick Lane. I had the best time. When I arrived, she was about to take the daily assembly, promoting one of their core values ‘awe and wonder’. To do this Clare had chosen to celebrate the ‘awe and … Continue reading
It has been fascinating engaging in the debate around knowledge and skills over the last few years; I’ve made various attempts to make sense of it. Here are some related posts: Some knowledge-skills interplay The progressive-traditional pedagogy tree Drills, skills and being match fit. I’m a natural third-way person, uncomfortable with polarised positions. I often … Continue reading
I’ve just finished reading this wonderful book and, as I said on twitter, it’s the best education book I’ve read by far. There are lots of teacher-tips books and plenty of academic system-reform or leadership books – but Trivium 21st C occupies different ground altogether. Martin Robinson has produced a manifesto for reforming and revitalising … Continue reading
Working with several schools on curriculum development over the last couple of years, a regular challenge has been to resolve the tensions that arise from having finite time and the inherent need to make a selection of material to teach from all the possibilities that swirl around. What to cover? What to leave out? How … Continue reading
Curriculum Review process:
At the Heads’ Roundtable event this week I was making a pitch for school leaders to get stuck into a deep curriculum review process – as many already have. Not because of the expectations of whatever accountability process is underway, but because it matters so much. To a degree that is underplayed all too … Continue reading
Now that schools are getting into the swing of the new GCSEs and KS3 assessment continues to present various challenges, it’s natural that a lot more attention is being given to the curriculum content at KS3. Of course some will say that Ofsted’s much-trailed renewed interest in curriculum is playing a part too – but I’ve … Continue reading
Over the last couple of years I have had the great privilege of working with several schools on the process of curriculum review. It’s such an enlightening process for all concerned – asking questions about what should be taught, why things should be taught, what absolutely must be kept in, what gets squeezed out … Continue reading
Sofa Theory: Ever bought a sofa? It can be a complicated process. It might be possible to write down a list of qualities you would like: comfortable, contemporary-looking, ‘well designed’, sturdy, ‘high quality’ material, a colour coordinating with the living room, ‘stylish’, ‘good value’. Of course this all presumes that the basic criterion to ‘be … Continue reading
Details of Curriculum Review Challenges
These two posts contain a lot of details that schools wrestle with – with examples of some of the trade-offs and solutions.
A murmuration of curriculum. That’s how my wife – a secondary Deputy Head – described the current state of things nationally. It’s a great image: the energetic but chaotic swirling around of individuals trying to stay together, following-the-leader in short bursts within a flock that has no overall sense of direction; patterns emerging here … Continue reading
This is the second in a series of posts about the direction of travel with curriculum thinking. The introductory post is here: Curriculum Murmurations #1. Thoughts from 2019. The image of a murmuration captures the sense of a system looking for direction with all the twists and turns and fluctuations. In this post I am … Continue reading
Short posts exploring ideas about the knowledge that matters:
- Curriculum Notes #1: Start out real, concrete, authentic.
- Curriculum Notes #2: Big picture first: then zoom in.
- Vietnam, Ali, reading and the powerful knowledge gap.
A map/terrain metaphor to explore the process of making choices, mapping out a knowledge domain:
- Mapping curriculum terrain: The beaten track and beyond.
- Curriculum Maps: Knowing New York; Knowing about New York.
Blending knowledge with creativity and other curriculum elements.
The slide below is one that I often use in my CPD presentations. The percentages are revealed after some reflection time. I’m keen to stress that, as a physics teacher, this is how I see my time is divided. I am not recommending this particular split; I am reporting my experience of it. Other teachers … Continue reading
Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the question of teaching for creativity. Back in 2012 I wrote this post where I made some reasonably sensible general statements: It is uncontroversial that for us to solve Humanity’s problems, to create the conditions for a sustainable future and also to maximise the cultural richness of … Continue reading
Anti-Racism: initial thoughts.
Ever since the wave of discussions about racism that flowed from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in June and July, I’ve been thinking a lot about what an ‘anti-racist’ curriculum would look like in schools. It’s a huge, important, complex area – one you don’t want to get wrong – so, I’m writing this with … Continue reading
My last post on this topic was Step 1. Reading. This wasn’t necessarily meant as the start of a series, but I’m going to continue taking steps along the path, when I feel ready to do so. It’s time for Step 2. Since posting Step 1, the debate regarding responses to the BLM protests has … Continue reading