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  1. 1. Curriculum and Syllabus David Geelan University of Queensland February 2007
  2. 2. Curriculum vs Syllabus <ul><li>The syllabus is the document handed down by the government that mandates what must be taught and how it must be assessed. It also makes suggestions for how it must be taught. </li></ul><ul><li>The curriculum is developed by the teacher or teaching team and is made up of the experiences students will have in the course. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definitions of ‘curriculum’ <ul><li>That which is taught in schools </li></ul><ul><li>A set of subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>A program of studies </li></ul><ul><li>A set of materials </li></ul><ul><li>A sequence of courses. </li></ul><ul><li>A set of performance objectives </li></ul><ul><li>A course of study </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definitions of ‘curriculum’ <ul><li>Everything that goes on within the school, including extra-class activities, guidance, and interpersonal relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Everything that is planned by school personnel </li></ul><ul><li>A series of experiences undergone by learners in a school </li></ul><ul><li>That which an individual learner experiences as a result of schooling </li></ul>
  5. 5. Schubert - Images of Curriculum <ul><li>curriculum as content or subject matter, </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as a program of planned activities, </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as intended learning outcomes, </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as cultural reproduction, </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as discrete tasks and concepts, </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as an agenda for social reconstruction, and </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum as &quot;currere&quot; (interpretation of lived experience). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Hidden Curriculum <ul><li>Things students learn in school that are not part of the written curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Includes things like behaviour, collaboration, teamwork, testwiseness </li></ul><ul><li>Also includes ‘rules of the game’, implicit expectations, prejudices </li></ul><ul><li>Can be positive and negative </li></ul>
  7. 7. Curriculum Development <ul><li>Ideally a collaborative process </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the syllabus </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t reinvent the wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Do use your freedom </li></ul><ul><li>On-going adaptive process </li></ul>
  8. 8. Learning Physics Through Contexts <ul><li>Curriculum is to be organised in terms of specific ‘real world’ contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Intended to make learning more relevant and engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Has pros and cons, but is required </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of contexts </li></ul>
  9. 9. Key Concepts <ul><li>Correspond to ‘content’ to be taught and learned in physics </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of student learning and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Addressed multiple times in multiple contexts </li></ul><ul><li>12 listed in syllabus, but see other list </li></ul>
  10. 10. Planning in terms of student activities <ul><li>Rather than simply list the content to be taught, it is more powerful to plan - at the lesson, unit and year levels - in terms of the activities the students will do </li></ul><ul><li>This helps to keep the teacher’s attention on having a wide variety of activities, and changing activities regularly </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Unit ‘Storyline’ <ul><li>A unit should have a ‘story arc’, a way for students to be able to think their way through it </li></ul><ul><li>The storyline is in addition to the key concepts/big ideas in the unit </li></ul><ul><li>A story has a beginning that sets up expectations, a middle that complicates them and an end that resolves them </li></ul>
  12. 12. Sequential and Global Thinkers <ul><li>Stereotypically but not always girls tend to think more globally and boys more sequentially </li></ul><ul><li>You will have both kinds of learners in your class </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Advance Organisers’ (Ausubel) that give the big picture help global thinkers and don’t harm sequential thinkers </li></ul>
  13. 13. Making Curricula Public <ul><li>You will need to make clear to the students your expectations and what they need to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Your assessment items and assessment criteria also need to be public and shared with students </li></ul><ul><li>You will also need to show work plans to department heads and supervisors </li></ul>