1. Skip the cover page.
2. If relevant, bypass the politician’s introduction justifying the new syllabus.
3. Skim the Contents page / s.
4. READ THE NEXT BIT VERY, VERY CAREFULLY. Here you will find the core principles behind the syllabus. These are usually the same across all subjects and grades.
5. Read the core principles again. Use a highlighter to pick out concepts like ‘relevant’, ‘critical thinking‘ and ‘offer solutions’. There are other important concepts, but realise that going through this section with a fine-toothed comb is the key to infusing your teaching with twenty-first century educational priorities. Think about where can you blend in flipped teaching, technology, problem-solving and all the cool things you want to teach your students…
6. Look at your subject’s specific foundational principles. Do you notice how many of the verbs remind you of Bloom’s taxonomy? Also look for terms like ‘inclusivity’. This refers to special needs, as well as to students with different intelligence bouquets.
7. Once you have completed Steps 4-6 and repeated as required, should you move on to the content you need to teach. Spend at least twice as long grappling with the principles as you do with the content. When planning, remember to inject every bit of content you teach with the principles you now have firmly in your head.
8. Ensure that all of your assessments and class activities prioritise the general and subject specific principles before they target content.
9. Spread this method to your colleagues. Show them what an opportunity they have to make a real and meaningful change.
10. Watch change happen.(With my tongue firmly inside my cheek.)
Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SeanHCole
- 20 Reasons Why (Some) Teachers Are What’s Wrong With Education (seanhamptoncole.wordpress.com)
- Dear Parents (A Letter of Introduction) (seanhamptoncole.wordpress.com)