Have you ever stopped to look at how much time is allocated to each domain at your school? Of course you have. There’s always that parochial fight over that extra hour of time – and each domain/subject has a valid reason for pursuing it. It’s the hotbed of any discussion about curriculum and especially pertinent during a curriculum review. In fact, it’s the item that most staff jump straight to – how much more time will I get to teach my classes?
But, in our review, we are resisting. In fact, it’ll be the last thing we discuss. This decision hasn’t made everyone happy. Apparently we all want to talk about why English has more periods than Science and how can we be expected to teach Humanities thoroughly in that many periods? But there’s a good reason for not going there; yet.
How can you have the discussion about structures without firstly having a discussion about the philosophy of learning and teaching at your school? Surely the structures are simply a tangible sign of what is valued at the school and thus don’t we need to ensure that we have that sorted first? If we take a close look at the current structures of our school, in fact, any school, we would be able to make some assumptions about what that school values and we could probably even draw conclusions about the type of learning and teaching that occurs there. At GCC currently there is a clear hierarchy of subjects – but is this what we want to continue into the future? Is this the best structure for our students and is it what they will need into the future?
With the GCC curriculum review we are not going to put the cart before the horse, but rather make sure we all know: what type of school we want to be in the future, what learning we want to occur at our place and ensure our values are aligned and explicitly stated. Then, and only then, will we create structures that are the physical embodiment of our values and built on the foundations of a common understanding of learning and teaching at GCC.
What do the structures of your school say about your values? Are they aligned?