This past weekend, there was a #bcedchat on classroom management and how the new curriculum might influence classroom behaviours. The first question looked at the whether new curriculum around personalised learning and 21st century learning affected or changed classroom management:
Q1: How might classroom management change with changing curriculum and assessment practices? #bcedchat
— Bryn Morgan Williams (@brynmw) November 25, 2013
Many responses were on the positive side, yet including some of what I’d call foreshadowing of the issues: professional development support; change in teacher role/responsibilities.
— Peter Holmes (@airprincipal121) November 25, 2013
— Sergio Villegas (@awesomecoachv) November 25, 2013
— Jacqueline (@_Cuddlefish_) November 25, 2013
Which brings up several issues around whether or not this curriculum will change anything without support from teachers, parents, administrators and Boards of Education. Embedded within the new curriculum is the potential for inquiry, problem based learning, and formative assessment. Giving permission to teachers to explore curricular content with their classes (although discussions around provincial assessments are still ongoing) should open up opportunities for a new classroom model.
I am reminded of my first years of teaching. I was eager, excited and felt I had many opportunities to explore, but constrained by two things: content and classroom management. With the content, the department goals of cross-grade assessments restricted too much exploration. I was expected to be at certain units by certain times, covering department-decided topics, stressing particular parts of the curriculum (sadly, botany was often the lowest subject on the biology hierarchy). For classroom management, I was being assessed or evaluated by the administration. The one thing I remember the most is that written within my evaluation was the comment about classroom management. Apparently, I didn’t use the ‘hands up’ rule in my class; instead, I gave all my students the opportunity to think about questions and answer in a more free-flow manner. So, written in the evaluation was that I should have students (sitting in their neat rows) put up their hands to answer a question. This, for me, restricted the flow of conversation. I always let students have their say, but also made sure that those that didn’t answer immediately, have opportunity think about the question and then share their thoughts (sometimes to the class, sometimes to me privately, or in written responses).
With the new curriculum, I am hoping that classroom management can be incorporated into the core competencies (especially the person/social). There are still a lot of discussions around these and my thoughts seem to be slowly forming. Any ideas or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!