OECD Review of National Policies for Education: Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland – 3 Implications: Moving Towards ‘My Curriculum for Excellence’

If the findings of the OECD report are generally accepted then the main implication for LTS lies around the development of the curriculum. I remember reading a policy document many years ago (must dig it out, but I think it was from HMI) which made the claim that the main cause of indiscipline/disruption in school is the ‘design and presentation’ of the curriculum.

My reading of the OECD report is that the main reason that too many of our young people fail at school lies in the design and presentation of the curriculum.

If we want more inclusive schools and are serious about tackling poverty more effectively then it’s just not enough to dilute the cognitive content of the curriculum (and qualifications) we need a laterally differentiated curriculum – a curriculum for all.

The key implications for LTS is that curriculum review is not something that should be happening once every 10 years but is more of an ongoing continuous improvement process. A process that draws on the experience and expertise of teachers and puts the interests and aspirations of young people at its heart. The real challenge of Curriculum for Excellence is to establish a dynamic, provisional curriculum that facilitates lateral differentiation and secures ongoing change and development as the norm.

So what does this mean for Glow? One way of thinking about Glow is to see it as part of the technology infrastructure that enables what I have called ‘My Curriculum for Excellence’. Over time Glow should provide a highly differentiated and personalised curriculum experience, to use Alvin Tofler’s term a ‘demassified’ experience.

Every teacher wants to customise the curriculum for every learner but unless you have a 1:1 ratio of teachers to learners there is only so far you can go. Well designed technology (Glow!) in the hands of effective teachers can be used to support personalisation but we need to be careful and learn from the mistakes of the past technology implementations. Anyway more of this later. For the meantime I am going to run with the Glow as the enabler of ‘My Curriculum for Excellence’ to see where that takes us.

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1 Comment

  1. Laurie I think Glow will be great as a curriculum management tool in that it offers opportunities for improved collegiality and teacher autonomy, and it helps teachers to declutter subject content. But as you rightly say we need to go further with CfE if we are going to narrow the gap and improve life chances for all.
    At BETT last week I heard, saw and read loads about personalisation and technology. There were some health warnings eg Bernie Zakary (Becta) said that teachers should not be expected to provide a ‘Vygotskyan’ experience for learners. The zone of Proximal Development or 1:1 ratios is going too far. On a more positive note, Zakary also said teachers should personalise the curriculum for learners in three ways. They should design learning programs for the learner, with the learner and by the learner. Glow has the tools for this.