Thursday, November 5, 2009

Whose Job?

Communal Responsibility

Teaching the standards for 21st century literacy is the responsibility of the entire community including parents, administrators and teachers. However, some party needs to identify, organize, distribute responsibility, monitor and assess the process. I would advocate for the model used by the ISB ESL Department.

Step 1: Delineate the essential understandings as well as knowledge and skills.
Step 2: Do a curriculum audit to determine where these understandings are being developed in the present curriculum.
Step 3: Review the audit to determine where the remainder of the skills and knowledge will best support and deepen understanding of existing unit outcomes.
Step 4: Develop specific units to fill in curricular gaps.
Step 5: Document where 21st understandings will be developed and skills and knowledge with be taught and they will be assessed.
Step 6: Monitor and adjust based on formal and informal assessment data.

Collective Agreements

The challenge this dynamic model, because it is not a fixed system, must be adjusted whenever units change. In addition, the technology tools will change, more easily accomplishing more complex tasks. Therefore, One must caution against a system that focuses on teaching particular tools. Communication, collaboration and negotiation will be necessary to keep the system working effectively. Awareness, action and assessment are natural outgrowths of an increasingly sophisticated community with respect to 21st Century literacy. A new literacy program is already in gear as ISB educates members of the community and provides opportunities (such as the tech masters program) to use technology in new ways. Eventually, it may make sense to have a K-12 symposium with representatives from the parent community to determine expectations, document where these are already being met at home and at school and seek ways to meet those that are not now addressed.

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