Teachers often say that they'd love to implement a big ideas, mastery curriculum but they don't have enough time. There are several ways to solve the problem of finding enough curriculum time.
1. Minimise repetition: remove duplicated content, which if learned well the first time, only needs review not re-teaching.
2. Prioritise knowledge: spend more time on the key concepts and skills, not on easy to remember facts.
3. Leverage assessment: use diagnostic assessment.
If you adopt the 5-year plan: Blueprint, you'll get the benefit of the first two strategies. Following the 5A's model, and especially the Activate and Assess diagnostic stages, can help further to prioritise time on the concepts students find most difficult.
To show that, using the strategies above, there is time to teach in depth, we carried out a curriculum time analysis on the 5-year plan: Blueprint. We used data from English schools on how much time is typically available, and the figures indicate that with approximately 25 key concepts per year, the mastery learning approach is feasible.
Do these estimates suggest a mastery curriculum would work in your situation? If not, what could you do to reduce the number of lessons needed without abandoning the approach?
REVIEW YOUR GOALS AND ACTION PLAN
At the start of the course, you set goals for changing your curriculum. It's time to review them (see page 1 of your Workbook).
Reflect on your biggest priority - which aspect of your curriculum is most out of alignment with your aims. For instance, is it:
- learning objectives: do they need more emphasis on Apply or Analyse?
- assessment: do you need diagnostic assessment?
- teaching plan: do activities need to target more in-depth understanding?
Now answer the question about the obstacles that challenge your vision. Then work out the first steps you need to start implement your plan - don't try to change too much too fast. Finally, make sure you get started while you still have momentum!
Our thinking has evolved since we wrote this online course. You can read more about how to construct your curriculum in our ebook: Cracking Science: build a world-class curriculum. You can download the first chapter free.
FREE TEACHING MATERIALS
As a reward for taking the online course, we can give you free access to the teaching and assessment materials for one topic in our Complete Mastery year 7. It's 'cell structure' from the cells unit. To get the materials:
1. Go to the product page, choose topic Contact forces: Balanced/unbalanced and add it to the cart.
2. During checkout, use the discount code: freetrialtopic2019 (the cost will change to £0.00)
3. On the thank you page, a link will appear to download a zip file containing the materials.
Thank you for participating in the course. Please tell us how you got on. You can use Twist to share the changes you are making to your curriculum, or ask our team questions.