MLTA Conference 2012 Keynote - Matthew Absalom


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MLTA Conference 2012 Keynote - Matthew Absalom

  1. 1. Today‟s journey Thinking about curriculum You, me and curriculum Curriculum in context Where are we and where are we going? Over to you Back to me
  2. 2. … educators must abandon the conviction that curriculum is an object – explicit, proscribed, and given …… can lead teachers to think of themselves as technicians whose realm only includes lesson plans, curriculum guides, outcomes and tests but excludes their own artistry and their students‟ curiosity …
  3. 3. … when educators focus on discrete parts of curriculum and do not see the big picture, they may view themselves as employees … not empowered professionals …… For curriculum to be understood as process for transforming educational aims and practices, it must be conceptualized as an undertaking that encompasses inquiry and introspection …
  4. 4. … the concept of curriculum should include in-depth examination of practices, interactions, values and visions as well as “an inward journey” of personal reflection …… consider ultimate aims for students and society …… reflect on our beliefs and actions and […] engage in a vigorous discourse about moral and social visions for education… From Pamela Bolotin Joseph (2011) Cultures of curriculum
  5. 5.  Success factors › Leadership/Political will › Agreement on desirability of the change › Availability of staff development › Clarity about the nature and extent of changes › Institutional/community support From Susan Toohey (1999) Designing Courses for Higher Education
  6. 6.  What do we want for our students? This is what I want: › No freaks › The thrill of doing and discovering › The adventure of it all › A love for language › A thirst to improve and to keep growing › The return of reading Are we limited by our own fears/flaws/insecurities? What do we need to do to get our students to where we want them?
  7. 7. University School • languages as disciplines • languages asComparing contexts communication • curriculum is institution- • curriculum is defined at the specific/idiosyncratic system level • educators as curriculum • educators as curriculum designers and enactors enactors and designers • macro/micro • micro  We need to consider the differences  Build capacity through sharing  Be openSo what?  Not hide behind excuses
  8. 8.  National Curriculum UK National Standards for Foreign Language Education Victoria: › Communicating in a language other than English › Intercultural knowledge and language awareness South Australia: › Communication › Understanding language › Understanding culture
  9. 9.  Update › Shape Paper revised and released 11/11 › Test the strands (communicating, understanding, reciprocating) through curriculum development › Writing teams for Italian and Chinese  Rationale; Scope and Sequence; Exemplars  „Unpacking‟ strands into sub-strands › National Panel this week
  10. 10. › Three strands become two with „reciprocating‟ as a cross- cutting idea› Writers for ATSI languages framework due to begin work end of March› Achievement standards and language-specific content descriptions are starting to be considered/developed› All languages developed ready to go by end of 2013 (with implementation in 2015 after trialling in 2014)› How languages are chosen will be a mixture of pragmatism and collaboration at Federal/State & Territory level› Our curriculum builds on past experience but importantly recognises the impact of cohort by way of pathways (building on significant work in States/Territories)
  11. 11.  Three interrelated aims › To communicate in the target language › To understand language, culture, and learning, and their relationship, and thereby develop an intercultural capability in communication › To understand oneself as a communicator. Two strands › Communicating › Understanding
  12. 12.  What are the pros and cons of an Australian Curriculum: Languages? Nothing new under the sun? Chasing our tail? What is communication anyway? Are we really so special? How to make sure the curriculum makes a difference?
  13. 13.  Curriculum scoping and sequencing is about levelness › How do we understand levelness? › What theoretical frames do we use to understand this? › Or is it anecdotal, idiosyncratic, conventionalised? › How can we shift our perspective?
  14. 14.  Language-specific work › Two strands (communicating; understanding) › One text › Consider how you would use this text with learners (need to consider pathway) › Imagine you are working with students you don’t normally work with › Reporting back at the end Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Spanish Turkish Vietnamese English text for teachers of other languages
  15. 15. Communicating Understanding• what • what• to whom • how• how • why• when• why
  16. 16.  Make a choice:  Be involved  Stay informed  Keep learning  Reduce distraction  Say no  Say yes  Love what you do, or get out…  Now, say hi to someone you haven’t met before!