810 Module 4 Foundations & Principles in the Context of Practice
When pondering my current practice, I wondered what area I most needed to address, and consequently which professional community I wished to enter into. I narrowed it down. I thought about the fact that my biggest challenge as an upcoming curriculum coordinator will be to balance between the Ontario mandated curriculum and the Christian philosophy and vision of the school. The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools has an community titled “edCommons” that has various features:
- Groups to join and become a part of
- Innovation gallery with examples from a variety of schools and subjects
- Learning resources
- Administrative help.
When I first found this site I found out that I had to gain access by being a member. This was quickly remedied by emailing the site coordinator. She gave me access, and now I could look around in the site, and access the groups and resources that I wanted. Within the site the group that I found that seems to be the most beneficial to me is the Curriculum Coordinators group. Whereas other groups I connected with were public, this one is private. I am still waiting to have access to this group.
Within this professional community I hope to make several contributions:
- A request for guidance on specific aspects of my new job
- Sharing some of the work that I have done for this course around philosophy, curricular designs, and assessment.
- Commenting on at least 3 others posts.
- As I further develop my ideas for this course and my new job I can share thoughts and resources.
This community will contribute to my growth as a professional by:
- Connecting me with other like-minded professionals
- Provide me with ideas of the connection between Ontario curriculum and a Christian perspective
- Give me resources around Project-Based Learning.
Within this space there seems to be two main forms of communication:
- Sharing of resources and ideas in the “Innovation Gallery” (in the form of pictures, videos, documents, and explanations)
- Idea sharing in the different groups (asking for advice, sharing of resources or news, and general inspiration)
This site seems to have mostly Christian teachers on the site, with some administrators and professionals as well. Although I still have to do more research on the group, from what I have seen of it, it seems to have designs focused around society-culture, but also individual. The overarching belief of this group is that we are placed on earth by God, and that as such we have a responsibility to learn more about Him, but also how we can love and serve our neighbor.
The Problem Based Learning approach that is adopted by many of these schools combines the individual interests of the whole child, with the problems of society around them. They focus on solving authentic problems through a Christian worldview. Assessment is shown by demonstrating learning in a variety of ways: I saw evidence of books being made, videos created, written pieces of work, and portfolios. This way of assessing fits more within the individual perspective, although a focus of it would be to see how well the students have linked this to the outside world (society-culture).
As I move forward in curriculum reform, I am glad to have guidance from a group… because in the words fo Ottoson & Green: “curriculum reform is a complex, multifaceted, and iterative process, in which ideas are transformed into behaviour” This change will need to involve various people, and will take a clear vision of what the schools philosophy of education is.
I’m looking forward to learning together with this group, and from this group, and sharing my learning with each of you along the way!