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Due Date
Curriculum as Being: Professionalism, Attendance, Engagement, Participation,
Writing Responses
1. Curriculum as Place: How Places & People Shape Our Lives (Autobiography)
Jan. 29th, 2014

2. Curriculum as Narrative and Learning Community:
Parts 1 and 2: How Stories Shape Our Lives (New Teacher Book) (15%)
Part 3: Building a community of learners (15%)

Feb. 12th, 2014April 9th, 2014
3. Curriculum as Written, Planned, and Taught: Curriculum Project (in groups)
Mar. 19th, 26th, April 2nd, 2014

4. Curriculum as Becoming: Our Curriculum Stories (Digital Stories)
By noon, April 15th, 2014

Grading guidelines:

Curriculum as Being: P/F

Attendance, engagement, and participation are crucial in this course. There will be opportunity for interaction during the large group lectures (Tuesdays) and more opportunity during the small group seminars (Thursdays). Thoughtful, thought-provoking and respectful contributions to the class discussions are expected and will assist you in becoming intellectually and personally involved in the material covered in the course.

This class is intended to examine and develop contrasting opinions, stimulate debate and challenge commonly held beliefs. The ideas of everyone in the class are important to our discussion. To achieve these ends students must: critically read assigned readings prior to the appropriate lecture and seminar; respond in writing to whatever prompts have been provided and bring these responses to class; and be prepared to engage with issues relating to the readings and enter class with an open mind.

1. Curriculum as Place:

How Places Shape Our Lives (Autobiography): 20 marks
Due Date: September 26th, 2013

Who am I in this space & place? How did I get here?
You will write a 4-5 page (double-spaced, word-processed) autobiographical piece that provides a snapshot of who you are; why you wanted to become a teacher; where you come from; what you are passionate about; your experiences (life, family, school) your values and beliefs; who influenced those values and beliefs; what you believe is the purpose of education; and how you think people learn best. Feel free to include a picture of yourself.

2. Curriculum as Narrative and Community:

In today’s increasingly digital and networked world, making your learning/voice visible and contributing to others’ learning has become an important part of being an educator. Creating a thoughtful, professional online identity is a key element of this.
For this class, you will be required to create an online writing and reflecting space, where you will publish weekly reflections based either on instructor-provided prompts or on your own thoughts, questions, and ideas about the readings, lectures and discussions. You will also be required to contribute in meaningful ways to the learning of others by commenting on and discussing your classmates’ work both in person and online. All student blogs will be aggregated into a single space, so that both your instructor and classmates can access posts in a central location.
Please ensure that you bring a device that allows you to access your responses (i.e. laptop, tablet, smartphone) with you to both lecture and seminar each week. Unless otherwise noted in the weekly plans, your weekly response should be posted prior to Tuesday’s lecture.

Parts 1 and 2: How Stories Shape Our Lives (based on textbook readings: The New Teacher Book): 15 marks
Due Date: October 10th, 2013

In this section of the assignment, you will engage in a process of revealing and unpacking your own ideologies to better understand the ‘messages to the students’ that you, as teacher, promote intentionally and unintentionally. Then, you will complete a critical reflection in a format that best represents your thinking and post your reflection to your online writing space.

Process for Assignment:
Part 1: Read the following then stories in the new teacher book:
  1. 1. 'Teaching in the Undertow: Resisting the Pull of Schooling-as-usual' p. 43
  2. 2. 'The Brown Kids Can't Be in Our Club' p. 83
  3. 3. 'What can I do when a student makes a racist or sexist remark?' p.93
  4. 4. 'Framing the Family Tree: How Teachers can be Sensitive to Students' Family Situations' p.95
  5. 5. 'Heather's Moms got Married' p. 103
  6. 6. 'Out Front' p. 111
  7. 7. 'Curriculum is Everything that Happens' p. 163
  8. 8. 'Working Effectively with English Language Learners' p.183
  9. 9. 'Teaching Controversial Content' p. 199
  10. 10. 'Unwrapping the Holidays: Reflections on a Difficult First Year' p. 317

Write a concise summary of each of the 10 stories (summaries should be about 1/3 of a page - just a few sentences to summarize the article) – no more than 2-3 pages TOTAL!

Post your summaries to your online writing space.

Part 2: Choose one or more of these stories to examine critically and in-depth (one story in depth, a few that you connect to or several that you see in an interconnected way)
  • • Respond to resonances (making connections; seeing one experience in terms of another)
  • • Respond to dissonances (or ‘bumps’, a feeling of discomfort, beliefs challenged).
  • • Be critical! Go beyond simply liking or disliking the story!

Create a representation of your response. This can take on any form of your choosing, as long as the final product can be posted online.
Your representation might include:
  • A written response of personal connections (2-3 pages)
  • A visual or written creative response such as a drawing, sketch, collage, painting, photograph, poem, story, or scrapbook (take a picture or video or the product and post online). These types of representations should be accompanied by a brief written explanation.
  • A digital response such as a video, voicethread, digital story, or blog post with hyperlinks (i.e. making connections to other blogs/sites related to the story).

Assessment tool for Parts 1 and 2:

Part 3: Building a community of learners (15 marks)
Due date: April 9th, 2014

Knowledge in classrooms is not simply passed down from teacher to students; instead some of the most meaningful knowledge is co-constructed through discussions and interactions between learners (and instructors). Moreover, in our increasingly networked and digital world, it is important that we as teachers develop the skills needed to be able to model 21st century learning to our students, including being self-directed, independent, and lifelong learners. Increasingly, such learners need to be able to contribute to and learn from those outside on their immediate school and local communities in order to tap into a broader knowledge base. As such, in this course, you will begin to build a personal learning network (PLN) to aid in your professional development as a teacher. The growth of your PLN will be supported in two major ways through course activities. First, you will create a blog to document your learning and reflections. This blog will be aggregated to a central site with the other blogs from your section and shared with the world. Second, you will be asked to join Twitter in order to contribute both in the lecture space and to the world at large. Throughout the course, we will also encourage you to read and comment on the blog posts of others, both in the class and outside of it.

In this section of the assignment, you will be responsible for reflecting on your growth as a professional as a member of your PLN, the growth of your PLN, and the ways in which you’ve contributed to the learning community. This should include specific details, such as links to responses to others’ blog posts, feedback to presenters/students/instructors on Twitter or other online spaces, or meaningful face to face discussions of student writing in staff groups. It should also include a reflection (6-8 paragraphs) on how your contributions have enabled the collective construction of knowledge in this class and outside of it in the broader learning community.

This assignment will be completed as blog post and should take advantage of the affordances of blogging, in particular the inclusion of links to outside content, blog posts/comments, Twitter conversations, etc.

3. Curriculum as Written, Planned, and Taught:

Curriculum Project: 25 marks

Due Dates: Teaching from and Posting of Curriculum Packages will occur during the following seminars – November 7th, 14th and 21st, 2013.

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 around teaching both Residential Schooling and incorporating Indigenous content and perspectives.
Project Description:
In your subject area groups (or inter-disciplinary groups), you will consider the possibilities for engaging Indigenous content and perspectives through a student experience of the exhibit 100 Years of Loss. Subject areas and curricula bring unique insights and open spaces for teaching and learning about the residential school experience. You will work in small groups to:
  1. Consider the learning/experience of the exhibit, 100 Years of Loss as a space for learning. Be creative, and try and imagine how or why you might, from within your subject areas, bring students into this space. Make sure to assess what students might need to know/understand in order to make the exhibit most worthwhile. Consider what you might ask your students to do while participating in the exhibit. You might need to be creative to make meaningful connections with your students. [There will not be class time from ECS 210 to experience the exhibit.]
  2. Connect with the official curriculum by selecting appropriate outcomes and indicators to engage with your students around. Your group will plan for student experience as if you were taking a group of students in your subject area to participate in the exhibit. You will be responsible to plan 5 moments for your students:
    • Pre-learning – plan a lesson that will prepare your students for the experience of 100 Years of Loss.
    • Describe the instructions/experiences that will structure your students’ experiences at the exhibit. This is not a formal lesson plan.
    • Post-experience – plan 3 lessons that will extend and deepen student understanding after their experience.
  3. Teaching – Your group will take one of the lessons/activities that you planned and teach during a seminar (Nov. 7,14,21). This will be an opportunity to try teaching some of this content in a supportive context. Place emphasis on engagement and student experience – please no content dumps J

Possible Planning Documents for Lesson Planning:

Inquiry Lesson Plan Template.doc

Set Development Closure Explanation.doc

ECS 210 Presentation Assessment.doc

4. Curriculum as Becoming:

Our Curriculum 'Digital'Stories (Looking Back): 25 marks
Due Date: December 12th, 2013

It's YOUR turn to be the storyteller! :) It's time to share your personal narrative of your curriculum journey by creating a digital story!
~Digital stories"... refers to using new digital tools to help ordinary people to tell their own real-life stories." (Wikipedia)~

TELL YOUR 'curriculum journey story' - voice only (audio recording), voice with pictures and/or text (narrated slideshow or Prezi), voice & video (movie), or other form of digital storytelling (video, inspiration mindmap, Haikudeck, voicethread, etc..._.
You may choose to work individually OR with a partner.
Note: Individual stories will be 4-6 minutes and partner stories will be 7-10 minutes
  • Look back at your journey of understanding the complexities & interconnections of curriculum during this semester.
  • Reflect on your learning by revisiting, rethinking, reflecting on lectures, seminars, readings (from both texts), assignments
  • Revisit your journal/blog as this is a reflection of your thoughts, questions, responses throughout semester - you may use direct quotes from your own writing
  • Synthesize your understandings of curriculum - what is curriculum? how has your understanding changed?
  • Examine how this 'place', ECS210, has shaped you? challenged your beliefs? made you experience some bumps?
  • Share your story in a creative, meaningful way!
Please post any digital storytelling tools to twitter #ecs210.