Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Last year, I was an elementary teacher. This September, I will be teaching secondary.

In preparation for my new assignment, I wanted to draft an outline of academic expectations. I thought this would be good for the students to receive at the beginning of the year, so they could know what their goals were and what they would be graded against. Also, I thought such a document, or checklist, would be beneficial for parents. It would also be beneficial for my superiors, to demonstrate my planning, and beneficial for myself, to guide the development of my curriculum.

I thought that the provincial Ministry of Education would provide a document for teachers outlining what needed to be taught at each grade level. However, the prescribed curriculum is not so clearly defined.

Quebec is in the infancy of an educational reform. There are new curriculum guides for the teachers. The elementary English guide has a sort of checklist enumerating expected skills for each of the three cycles.

The secondary guide is less specific. I have read through it more than once. It does not provide the same level of specific benchmarks that the elementary guide provides. The information is presented with less structure. In an attempt to extract and organize the information, I have begun creating a mindmap of the guide utilizing the website Mindomo.

I had been seeking detailed instructions. But this, I suppose, is the old paradigm of education. We really are experiencing a revolution, one that is affecting not only curriculum within the classroom, but also the job description of teachers. It is no longer: tell the students this information; it is: help the students practise these skills.

Here is a nice video about today’s students, entitled, A Vision of Students Today, that I found on the website, Emerging Internet Technologies for Education.


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