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Curriculum21 Podcast- Episode 13

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano and Mike Fisher had the opportunity to visit Stephen Wilmarth and his 1:1 iPad initiative at the Number 1 Middle School attached to Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China.

PlayPlay

Geography is a Separate Subject. Really?

Cross posted to Langwitches.

How is geography being taught in your school? Is it a weekly time block designated under the umbrella of Social Studies in Elementary School? Is it a semester or one year required credit course in High School?

Geography is a separate subject. Really?

Heidi Hayes Jacobs says (p. 36) in her Curriculum 21. (ASCD, 2010) book:

Geography should be cut as a snapshot unit with an integrated approach continuously woven into the academic year. Rather than the token “let’s start off the school year with our classic unit on geography,” the curriculum should include an ongoing injection and use of geography and a full range of maps. When schools do not use maps of all kinds with regularity in a range of classes (English, science, art), our students do not get to apply geography in a meaningful way.

Heidi Hayes Jacobs compares a segregated and isolated teaching unit of geography to a first grade teacher posting an ABCs poster on the wall, only to take it down after a month.

It is about making continuous connections of geography themes to what we teach. Where does the content fit into the world? How does the content relate to other subject areas. How does it affect the people who live there? Where do we find Math concepts in the physical world around us? Do literary or historic perspectives change due to geographic locations? How does Geography impact the economy?

How can we help classroom teachers make these connections from their teaching subject/content to geographic awareness/compentency?

Vivek Wathwa states in an article on TechCrunch about American competitiveness in the global educational field that

if we create the incentives for American children to study math and science and to complete advanced degrees, the magic will happen. In addition to math and science, we should teach our children about world culture, geography, and global markets. In the era of globalization, these subjects are equally important.

Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) recently tweeted

Really heartsick about NC’s decision to make social studies a history instead of geography focus. That’s narrowminded in today’s world.

If geography is equally important as math and science, than why is it being made a “lesser” focus?

I presented recently at the Teacher2Teacher conference in Bow Island, Alberta, Canada. The topic of one of my sessions was: “Geography is All Around Us”

Take a look at the slides and check out the tools and resource links discussed at the presentation for examples how geography can AND should be integrated into other subject areas.

Resource Links:
Google Maps
Google Earth
VoiceThread
Wikis Blogs
Skype
Twitter

Examples:

How do you integrate Geography into your subject area? How can you upgrade one unit, one lesson or one assignment to integrate geography. What tools are you using? What projects are participating in? Please share you tips and techniques.

Take a look at previous blog posts on Langwitches with examples of Geography integration:

Here are a few tips through Twitter.

Curriculum 21 – Visual Book Review

Cross Posted to Langwitches Blog


Curriculum 21

I am usually a fast reader, but I have been taking my time with this book. There is not only a wealth of information, but it connects to so many of my thoughts and ideas I have contemplated in my mind as well as on this blog over the last few years. It resonated with me when Heidi Hayes Jacobs says:

a school does not need reform— it needs new forms.

Heidi advocates that

New essential curriculum will need revision- actual replacements of dated content, skills, and assessments with more timely choices.

I really liked her approach when she suggests the distinction between a “growth model” instead of a “change model” that needs to be introduced to a school’s culture.

As I was reading the book (hard copy, not on my Kindle), I was using highlighters to not miss thoughts or quotes that I wanted to remember. It did not take long to realize that I was highlighting too much :) How was I going to get through this book and make sense of it, connect and wrap it around my thoughts which were floating around but had not been verbalized?

I know that I work best through concepts and ideas when I create diagrams or use mind mapping tools. I really like using the SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint. The visuals below are a summary of what I “read out of the book”, the most important points in my mind and quotes.

Curriculum 21- What does it mean to be educated?

Based on Curriculum 21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

What does it mean to be educated in the 2st Century?
Information Literacy
  • Understanding of knowledge, creation & authority
  • Make meaning of information to create new knowledge
  • Find, evaluate, organize, interpret & distribute information
  • Pattern recognition, critical thinking, perception
  • Gather knowledge to become intelligent vs. apply knowledge
Network Literacy
  • Social production is enabled by power of networks to connect people
  • Nature of learning & teaching
  • Locating experts & eyewitnesses
  • Relationships NOT technologies determine learning
  • Enhancing the process of learning to be (Identity)
Global Literacy
  • Compete. Cooperate & connect with global peers
  • Greater understanding of 95% of world’s population
  • Knowledge-driven global economy
  • Global competency knowledge, language &respect
  • Global perspective
Media Literacy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Literary Authority & participatory culture
  • Media is shaping the way students think and express themselves
  • No longer print-centric world
  • Find, analyze, evaluate, organize, remix, store and share media
Student Portfolios
  • Collecting-Selecting-Reflecting
  • Metacognition
  • Gather data about own learning
  • Self-Modifying as lifelong learner
  • Alternative assessment tool
Connecting
  • Non-linear learning
  • Semantic Web
  • Interdisciplinary linkage to real world applications
  • Global Connectivity
  • Ubiquitous connectivity
Collaborating
  • Learning is social
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Engage students to produce meaningful contributions
  • Students making contributions to learning communities
  • Establishing & maintaining working relationships
Communicating
  • Tools to share what we learn open up new ways of thinking
  • Professional Development
  • Community
  • Nationally/ Internationally
  • Foreign Languages
New Roles for the Learner & Teachers

Adapted from Alan November (pp. 186-194) in Curriculum21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

Curriculum 21

Adapted from Arthur Costa & Bena Kallick (pp. 210-226) in Curriculum21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

Curriculum Mind Shifts

Adapted from Arthur Costa & Bena Kallick (pp. 223-225) in Curriculum 21 (ASCD, 2010) "by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

Curriculum Upgrade Model

Adapted from Curriculum21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

5 Socio-Technology Trends

Adapted from Stephen Wilmarth's chapter in Curriculum21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

Curriculum Decisions in Schools

Visual based on Heidi Hayes Jacobs in "Curriculum 21" (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. We need to upgrade curriculum content. She suggests to start with assessments. Decide what kind do we need to keep, what do we need to throw out and each teacher pledges to at least upgrade one assessment type a year.

I also like taking quotes and create visuals of them.

"The real problem is not adding technology to the current organization of the  classroom, but changing the culture of teaching and learning"

Adapted from Alan November (p. 189) in Curriculum 21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

From Cathedral to Bazaar type learning

Based on Steven Wilmarth (pp. 95-96) in Curriculum21 (ASCD, 2010) by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

It is the nature and relevance of reading, writing, and sums that change..

Visual based on quote by Stephen Wilmarth in the book "Curriculum 21" by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.