Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunrise over the turquoise mountains (Phish)

It's amazing how much I keep coming back to Velocity - the conversation between Ahmed and Olander. I've posted on their seven new laws for a world gone digital a few times now.

It seems that every day, something happens that makes me think about one of their laws.

Law four is Convenient is the enemy of right.

The basic message is that doing something worthwhile takes imagination and commitment.

One of my dad's favourite sayings is burned into my psyche: If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right!

Yeah baby! I agree!

Think about this though: the caveat is IF it's worth doing...

Along the way in this Velocity chapter they use a quote from Brian Wilson (yes of The Beach Boys - are you wondering any longer why I LOVE this book so much?): Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever.

Currently I am engaged in a curriculum mapping exercise. It was a goal that the English department had this year, something the school believes is a priority. It's a concept that I'd never come across before.  

So - what is it? Curriculum mapping takes place within a grade level and between grade levels. Mapping serves as a detailed lesson plan for the school year's curriculum.

We already had a plan for the individual year levels so this latest exercise was to make a chart showing how various skills in English progress from Year 7 to Year 13.

It took quite a while to compile and my eyes are feeling the effects of concentrating on a computer screen for hours with multiple pages open.

So - is it worthwhile? 

Short answer is a, well...yes. 

Thanks to Greg Semmens for this one
Long answer is a, well...yes, if it helps identify gaps in progression (stuff that is left out or ends in a cul-de-sac), if it prevents repetition and if it helps the alignment of the standards, content and methods across year levels. If the school takes all of the various department maps and looks for alignment between subjects then it will have even greater value. That is what a Change Action Group within the school is proposing to do so...great! 

Given that we are embarking on a shake up of the English assessment standards used in senior classes from 2015 onwards this can also be seen as a valuable activity.

So, bottom line (literally) - it's worth doing right. Hence my bleary eyes and a (shock horror probe) proposed English meeting to discuss the draft map.

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