Following on from our non-linear consideration of curriculum, we approached collaborative unit planning in a similarly holistic way, with the child at the centre, to ensure a focus on our goal of developing the whole child.
As teachers considered the desired conceptual understandings and the content requirements of our curriculum, the potential to develop skills and dispositions in an authentic context were revealed…
Following this process with different year level teams and different units of inquiry led to a number of insights:
- Making thinking visible is an important part of the collaborative planning process.
- Considering all the elements simultaneously makes it easy to visualise the potential big picture.
- The visual process allows for collaborative construction of meaning.
- While always conceptual, some units are more knowledge based, others more skills based, and that’s ok!
- A holistic vision of the unit highlights opportunties for natural connections that strengthen learning.
- Opportunities are illuminated for split screen teaching (inquiring into content and developing skills & dispositions simultaneously).
- Standing around a table might trump sitting behind computers for collaborative thinking!
(*we use ‘dispositions’ rather than ‘attitudes’ now.)