Our district PD day was facilitated by Roland Case from the Critical Thinking Consortium on Engaging High School students. I have worked with the Critical Thinking Consortium for the last five year with the implementation of the new social studies curriculum To say that I am a fan, is a huge understatement. It has changed how I teach.
Engagement in the last years has topped edu-buzz words along with 21st Century Learning. But what does it mean, look like and change? My big take away from this session was this question that Roland posed. “How do we tell the difference between engaged, educationally engaged and on task?”
So Roland challenged us to do two things (challenge accepted by the way)
- Reduce off putting tasks – eliminate marginal topics and educe demands of tedious tasks
- Provide more meaningful learning opportunities – Negotiate meaningful (intrinsic) plans, build in real life implications & consequences and problematize the subject matter
Luckily our school based PD, the day after district PD, built on this. We spent the better part of the day talking about concept development and cascading curriculum. Josie put together this fabulous presentation to guide us through the process.