LisaHillSchoolStuff's Weblog

'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Archive for April, 2010

Dare to Lead PD at Dandy South Ps

Posted by Lisa Hill on April 22, 2010

Today I attended a professional development activity called Dare to Lead, presented by Rob Miller at Dandenong South PS.  It’s an initiative  set up by Principals Australia aimed at improving the teaching of Aboriginal history and culture.  They run PD such as conferences and send out regular newsletters about resources and so on. Membership is free and you can sign up online. I attended to find out more to support the implementation of the Wannik Strategy at our school.

Rob stressed the importance of knowing the children you work with: you need to ask where they’re from, whose mob they belong to.  He also said that it’s important to have a go, even if you don’t know much about a topic, it’s better to try than do nothing.  But when you can, personalise the curriculum so that it’s Victorian, and even better, so that it’s local. 

There was a spirited discussion about whether to teach ‘units’ about Aboriginal history, culture and issues, but Rob agreed that including Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum (as we are at MPPS) was a better way to do it.    The APAC site (from Western Australia – there isn’t one for Victoria) – has concept maps which show how Aboriginal perspectives can be infused with ideas about Aboriginal history, culture and issues, and there are other resources such as lesson plans too (though of course not all of these are transferable to other states and you need to assess their appropriateness).

If you interested in the work we’ve done at Mossgiel Park, visit the Aboriginal Perspectives page on this blog.

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The Crowded Curriculum

Posted by Lisa Hill on April 7, 2010

Back when Jeff Kennett was in power here in Victoria and schools were sinking under the weight of the then Curriculum and Standards Framework, I had an article published in The Canberra Times about offering flexible school hours and extending the time that children spend in school (with suitable additional remuneration for teachers, of course). 

Now with the new National Curriculum on its way, once again the issue of the Crowded Curriculum arises. See Annabel Astbury’s article in New Matilda here.

The way I see it, there is no other solution to the Crowded Curriculum except to extend the hours that schools are open, and make teaching and learning so attractive that children and teachers will be happy to be there.

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