Assignment Snapshot:

1. Curriculum Theorists as Guides (research, reflective written piece, 4-5 pages, APA format): 20%
Due: February 5th, 2016

2. Curriculum Critique (research/original work, 4-5 pages, APA format): 25%
Due: March 4th, 2016

3. Curriculum as Written, Planned & Taught: (integrating Aboriginal Content & Perspectives into the Curriculum): 25%
Due: March 28th, April 1st, April 4th, and April 8th, 2016.

4. Curriculum as Process (final project to tell your curriculum journey through this semester)
a. Curriculum as Process (blog posts, comments on other blogs): 15% Due: Ongoing
b. Summary of Learning (digital storytelling): 15% Due: April 11th, 2015


Assignment Descriptions:

1. Curriculum Theorists as Guides (research, reflective written piece, 4-5 pages, APA format): 20%
Due: February 5th, 2016

Introducing Amazing Pedagogues! Who is guiding our journey?
Read, research, reflect, connect - who are you bringing into the room? Messages?
Write a 4-5 page research page (APA style) on 2-3 curriculum theorists that are walking alongside you...

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Rubric:


Example essay:




2. Curriculum Critique (analysis, written piece, 3 pages, APA format): 25%
Due: March 4th, 2016
“There is no neutral text. All texts represent a particular perspective”

The main goal of this activity is to evaluate an actual curriculum that is being implemented in the province of Saskatchewan. Students can choose to evaluate an existing curriculum document or a newly introduced curriculum, program, or initiative in a subject or area of your choice (e.g., the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP)). You are asked to write a three-page critique that discusses the underlying principles, beliefs, values that in your view inform/sustain the curriculum. This is also a chance to integrate concepts/language/theories of curriculum already explored in class.


Through this activity not only will you will become familiar with a particular curricular document; but, perhaps more importantly, you will begin to think critically about the perspectives that inform school curricula. In other words, this learning activity will help you strengthen your analytical practice to make visible what is often implied, but not stated.


A critique is more than simply saying what you liked or did not like about the curricula you are reviewing. A critique is an informed evaluation. Therefore, your judgments in the final report must be well-supported. To do this, you can use excerpts from official documents as well as class readings and/or lectures. As a learning experience, it is important that you show that you can apply key concepts and issues learned in class. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their choice of project with their seminar leader.

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Example Critique:



3. Curriculum as Written, Planned & Taught (Worth 25% of your final grade) Due Date(s): March 28th, April 1st, April 4th, and April 8th, 2016 (note - both lecture & seminar times)

Project Objectives:
• To explore the implications for an anti-oppressive orientation to curriculum design;
• To understand that teachers can exercise a high degree of agency in various ways in relation to curriculum;
• To explore the implications of curriculum design for teachers and learners, especially around issues of equity.
• To explore the possibilities and tensions of teaching with Aboriginal perspectives across the Saskatchewan school curriculum.


Project Description:
This group project will give you the opportunity to engage in cross-curricular/interdisciplinary planning and development that aims to be responsive to Aboriginal perspectives. Why a cross-curricular planning? Often, and mistakenly, social studies is considered the school subject where Aboriginal perspectives can be included. This assignment gives you the opportunity to learn how to meaningfully integrate Aboriginal perspectives across all curricular areas. To undertake this assignment, you will need to have a team and choose a grade. Think of your team as one that is interdisciplinary. There are different entry points to this project. For example, the group can choose (1) to teach Treaties in the classroom, (2) a topic (e.g., Residential Schools), (3) integrating Aboriginal content and perspectives to curriculum units/themes. While each entry point is slightly different, the goal is the same: providing you with a hands-on experience of what it is like to plan and teach with an anti-oppressive approach.
  • Select at least three different subject areas of the curriculum (e.g., English, physical education, math and science) to design an interdisciplinary mini-unit (topic: Residential Schools, Teaching Treaties in the Classroom and/or integrating Aboriginal content and perspective).
  • Connect with the official written curriculum (explicit curriculum) by selecting appropriate outcomes and indicators.
  • Imagine possibilities for student learning experiences, possible resources to explore and goals for teaching.
  • Do some research for background knowledge as needed


As you work in small groups you may find the following suggestions useful:
  • Create a mindmap of possibilities for cross-curricular teaching
  • Approach curricular planning as process of inquiry: Decide on the BIG IDEA that emerges from the mindmap process and create an “Essential Question” to guide the mini-unit inquiry.


Requirements of the Assignment:
You are asked to:
Teaching – your group will take one of the lessons/activities that you planned and teach during a seminar/lecture (week of March 28th and April 4th). Please note - We will be meeting as seminar groups during the lecture time for these weeks (rooms TBA). This will be an opportunity to try teaching some of this content in a supportive context. Be creative, and pay close attention to engagement and your fellow student experience. In other words, do not focus on passing on information about the strengths of the lesson the group developed, but show us by teaching it. As curriculum makers, make sure your curriculum planning endorses understandings of curriculum as process and curriculum as praxis.

Assessment Tool:



4. Curriculum as Process (final project to tell your curriculum journey through this semester)
a. Curriculum as Process (blog posts, comments on other blogs): 15% Due: Ongoing
b. Summary of Learning (digital storytelling): 15% Due: April 11th, 2015

Ongoing reflection is an important part of the process of learning to teach. In this in particular, we will ask you to engage with “troubling” knowledge, a process that may lead to some discomfort, and so the act of reflecting will be a critical part of your learning this semester.

This assignment has two parts, both of which are meant to support your journey in ECS210. For the first part of the assignment, “Curriculum as process,” we ask that you create a personal blog, where you will post your reflections throughout the semester (instructions for setting up your blog will be provided in seminar). Using a blog for your reflections has several benefits. For one thing, __teachers in Saskatchewan are now expected to demonstrate digital literacies in their practice__ and to teach and model these skills for students. Learning the mechanics of blogging and beginning to build your own digital identity will be an important step towards meeting this outcome. As well, openness and engagement with others around the globe is an increasingly important skill, as it allows you to be a lifelong learner and to seek out ideas or collaborate with teachers in many different parts of the world. Moreover, the act of writing for a global and undefined audience often leads to deeper and more critical reflection from students; having to engage with the content in a way that you are proud to share online may well help you to solidify your thoughts and beliefs. This format also allows you to receive feedback from your fellow classmates, instructors, and others beyond the course.

The first part of the assignment will be assessed based on both your weekly reflections to course prompts and on your willingness to contribute to others’ learning by providing your classmates with critical and constructive feedback through commenting.

The second part of the assignment, the “Summary of learning,” asks you to reflect on your overall journey at the end of the course by creating a final post that contains a digital story that summarizes your learning in a creative way (the easiest option here is to upload to Youtube and then insert the Youtube link in your post). Your post may also include a short written summary in which you link back to previous posts in order to highlight key moments in your journey.
Some examples of digital stories (please note that these are simply examples of digital stories, not of posts with links):
Cole
Raquel
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Rubric:


Introducing Amazing Pedagogues! Who is guiding our journey?
Read, research, reflect, connect - who are you bringing into the room? Messages?
Write a 4-5 page research page (APA style) on 2-3 curriculum theorists that are walking alongside you..