Experiments with the GeneralCapabilities as starting points forcurriculum designENGAGING ANDDEVELOPING ETHICALBEHAVIOUR
ContextThe Hills Montessori School – Adolescent ProgramAdelaide HillsSmall school, Year 7 to 10Accountable to the National Montessori Curriculum and theAustralian CurriculumSmall highly collaborative staff – committed to finding creativeproblem solving
Key pedagogical approachesSelf directionPrepared environmentAuthentic workAuthentic consequencesMultiage classesFlexible/responsive timetablesIntegrated curriculumLearning with head and handsMeeting fundamental human needs
Project developmentBrief – adapt the existing Community Service ProgramJourney - toward a General Capabilities focusIntegration• Humanities• Occupations• Mathematics• Advisory• Language• Student Interest Groups• Science
Key Experiences‘Tell me and I’ll forget,Show me and I may remember,Involve me and I’ll understand’ (Chinese proverb)1. World Trade Game – Ethical dilemmas‘We thought we played the game well but so many people lost!’‘I gave my chocolate away, I couldn’t bear to eat it’‘I can’t believe how sneaky those rich girls were, they didn’t thinkabout us at all and we got nothing!’
Key Experiences (cont.)2. Slum Survivor – Ethics under pressure‘They wasted our hard earned money on chocolate behind our backs so wedisowned them.’‘Now I know what it’s like to be poor.’‘I was cold.’‘Slum Survivor was really hard, next year we should do it for a whole weekand be out in the bush somewhere.’‘It was just so unfair, I can’t believe the world is actually like that.’‘I never want to make another paper bag again. Ever.’
Key Experiences (cont.)The Bitter Truth – Ethical decisions‘It’s not right that our cheap chocolate costs the lives and childhoods ofpeople our age’‘I’m a bastard – I know it’s unfair but it’s not my fault, it happensanyway and it’s not illegal’
‘It was just a small step towards making the worlda better place’
Developing knowledgeMiniature Earth Project – locating ourselves in the global pictureStory of Stuff – Who is responsible? Who is more valuable? Why?Readings and seminarsRemembering the issues are not so much ends in themselves for us aseducators but merely the contexts for engaging and developing ideasand applications of ethical behaviour
Structured specialisationGuided investigation: Working conditions in offshore electronicsmanufacturing (Apple)Providing a model for their own Independent Research Projects overthe break
Going FurtherDonations throughEconomy and EventsOccupation(to TEAR Australia)Actions taken up byStudent Interest GroupsWorld Religions:People of Compassionhttp://db.tt/nDVh98kC
Tracking Development and Assessment• Outcomes drawn from the Ethical Behaviour Assessment Rubric -http://db.tt/Ismyu8Ku• Tools for mapping an integrated curriculumhttp://db.tt/hoMNMJPS
Where to from here?Interpreting and owning the General Capabilities (beyondaccommodation!)Developing developmental continuaIntegrating General Capabilities as central forces in the organisationand development of curriculum
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