Deepening my curriculum: Teaching Up
“Syllabi, examinations, and university admissions criteria were changed to encourage thinking out of the box and risk-taking. Students are now engaged in project work and higher order thinking questions to encourage creativity, independent, and interdependent learning.” Ng Pak Tee from Singapore’s National Institute of Education (Darling-Hammond 185)
In order to have a classroom which embodies the type of educational environment described above, I must deepen my curriculum. I must create projects which foster the creativity and and higher order thinking. What is the best way to do this? In researching, after I just asked myself this question, I discovered a workbook on Edutopia, which encourages teachers to ask three higher order thinking questions per lesson. That is a way that I can begin to build a different kind of classroom. I can then base projects only around these higher order thinking types of questions.
There really isn’t enough time to properly collaborate with my co-teachers. Our school meetings do not allow for the proper engagements, but they are more of the “hit and run” variety spoken of in the section entitled “Use of Time for Improving Teaching” (Darling-Hammond 201). I need to find a way to encourage our meetings to be more collaborative in an effective way. Making to time to encourage teachers to really collaborate, step into each other’s classes and understanding our peer teachers’ curriculums will help us to work together better.
In order to really change the classroom, I have to give my students more ownership. I have to learn to teach them confidence, build their self-esteem, and encourage them to think and not just say what they think I want to hear. If I learn to trust my students, this will help the classroom to change into a more forward thinking, higher order thinking, engaged classroom.