Building the Curriculum 4 - a perspective - Page 2
|Building the Curriculum 4 - a perspective|
Building the Curriculum 4 also identifies some of the attributes that go hand in hand with the development of these aforementioned skills. It asserts that young people should be:
- Determined to succeed
Although this list of skills and attributes is extensive, there are however some important skills not referenced explicitly in the document, for example using technology, information literacy and study skills, as well as some attributes, such as those associated with emotional intelligence.
So, the overarching message of Building the Curriculum 4 is that all young people will need a wide range of knowledge, skills and attributes in their daily lives and relationships if they are to become successful, confident, responsible and effective adults who can meet the challenges of life and work in the 21st century.
One of the underlying questions in this publication is, therefore, what kind of curriculum, what kinds of learning environments will best enable young people to develop such skills and attributes?
As with previous publications in this series, Building the Curriculum 4 places a responsibility on schools to provide regular and meaningful opportunities for:
- Interdisciplinary learning
- Active learning
- Collaborative learning
- Autonomous learning
- Thinking skills
It is pedagogies such as these that best promote the kinds of skills and attributes that we want our young people to develop. It is also clear that if the development of skills is to be integral to the work of classrooms, they must be reflected in teachers’ planning and in day-to day learning and teaching.
A vital part of skills development is the opportunity for young people to be able to practise skills and apply them to real life contexts. Building the Curriculum 4 asserts that working in partnership provides young people with a broad range of opportunities to develop these key skills, as well as offering scope for greater personalisation and choice.
A key message in Building the Curriculum 4 is that partnership working benefits the young person, the school and the partner organisation.
Partnerships may include those with small companies, social enterprises and entrepreneurs, as well as larger national or international organisations across the private, public and third sectors. School-business partnerships, work placements, workplace visits and mentoring schemes provide a context for young people to develop and practice these skills.
Partnership working also embraces wider collaboration such as those partnerships between schools and colleges and with other agencies, such as Career Scotland, which provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in a relevant, work-related environment.
It is also clear that there must be effective partnership working between schools in order to ensure that:
- the needs of young people are met
- they receive adequate support at key stages, such as transition
- there is a common language for learning
- there is a shared expectation and standards.
Assessment and Reporting
Another key message arising from Building the Curriculum 4 concerns the assessment and accreditation of skills. If skills development is to be at the heart of children’s educational experiences, then we must find appropriate ways to assess, record and accredit skills in ways that are meaningful to parents, employers, universities and, of course young people themselves.
Building the Curriculum 4 raises questions for schools and education authorities about how skills are assessed - in particular how evidence of skills development is gathered and evaluated, recorded and reported. It highlights the forthcoming National Literacy and National Numeracy qualifications, which will show learners’ achievements in these skills at levels 3, 4 and 5 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Building the Curriculum 4 also raises the issue of the wider recognition and accreditation of personal achievement.
So, if earlier publications in this series identified the destinations – what it is we want our children and young people to become – and BC3 gave us the route map, Building the Curriculum 4 highlights the kinds of skills and aptitudes that young people must acquire along their journeys if they are to reach those destinations and become successful, confident, responsible and effective adults who can meet the challenges of life and work in the 21st century.
Building the Curriculum 4 poses many questions about how we can best help young people develop skills for learning, life and work, but the most significant questions are:
- How best can we provide learning opportunities which enable children and young people to develop, demonstrate and apply a broad range of skills?
- What are the implications for teachers and other staff responsible for creating these learning environments?
- How can we utilise the power of partnership to provide wider and more innovative opportunities for skills development?
In summary, Building the Curriculum 4 offers a different perspective of Scotland’s emerging Curriculum for Excellence and the challenge at the heart of this publication might best be summed up as follows.
In a Curriculum for Excellence . . . how excellent can our children and young people be?