After two days spent engaging in dialogue around how we as educators develop deep knowledge and understanding of curriculum I thought it useful to record some of my thoughts, reflections and learning. In grade teams we developed the collaborative space by reiterating critique protocols. Importantly, anecdotal stories of our own deep knowledge and expertise in areas of our own lives were shared. This was critical as was the catalyst to shape thinking with regard to how we develop deep curriculum knowledge and also how was know if we are succeeding at doing so.
The “board game” below became our structure for the sessions. The purpose of each of the sessions was twofold; to look deeply at one outcome (from the English Syllabus - writing) and also to engage in a process that was repeatable in grade teams on any occasion they come together to deepen their curriculum knowledge.
During each of the sessions the dialogue was rich and it was clear that each team appreciated the opportunity to engage in work around our core curriculum document, the English syllabus. Much of the work we tend to engage in as teachers is angled at the pedagogy, the how to teach. The 90 minutes spent with each grade was a refreshing opportunity to look more deeply at what it is we are to teach through a pedagogical lens. In what can be referred to a pedagogical content knowledge (link if you'd like to read further), we as teachers are asked, not only to develop a deep understanding of what to teach but also how to teach it. This was made clear during the sessions and became the driver for how we can continue to look at curriculum.
I came away from each session with a renewed vigour and appreciation for the great task of knowing deeply what we are to teach, informed by how we teach it. The richness in coming together with colleagues and, in developing a collaborative space with protocols, breaking apart outcomes in order to develop our collective and individual knowledge of curriculum is profound. The greatest challenge will be found in ensuring that we, as a group of learners, continue to relentless pursuit of this style of work, striving to develop deep knowledge for the benefit of out students.