With permission from my tutor, here is my Curriculum Studies assignment: “A critical review of a Grade 10 Introductory Physics course as part of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, examining selected aims and purposes and analyzing the extent to which these are, in my experience, achieved in practice.“ Catchy title, eh?
Some quick reflections on the process and the product:
- In the early stages of this unit I really got into the academic reading. The resources set up by the University of Bath are excellent and you can get an idea of what was there (as well as my responses to the tasks) here.
- It did become a bit of a slog in the writing stages: I took this unit entirely online and there was no activity on Moodle or elsewhere. As a result, I blogged all my thinking and ended up with some interesting discussion and feedback via Twitter.
- My tutor, Mary Hayden, was a great support. I do wish I’d had the opportunity to meet with her in person for this, as we were limited in our exchanges by the asynchronicity of timezones and busy schedules. As a result the pace of my work slowed, but in the end it came out OK.
- The importance of getting a good draft in early became apparent here. In the last unit, I had just moved to Japan and was buried in work and adjustment. The MA work suffered and the best I got in was an outline. In this unit, I was able to submit well-structured drafts and received rich and workable feedback. This is something I emphasise in my own teaching, but when the shoe’s on the other foot it is easy to fall behind. The moral of the story – get good drafts in early, front-load the effort, and the results will pay off.
- Although I enjoyed the academic side of things in the Assessment unit, I really got into it here and this unit helped me realise that I am happiest in the teaching and curriculum side of things – as a teacher, coordinator and instructional leader.
I’m taking a couple of months off now, and will pick up another unit in March and another summer school. I think the best way for me to work would be to get started on the units early, and then come to the summer school with work formed and ready for feedback, rather than waiting to get there to get started.
Anyway, here it is.