It doesn’t make sense to me that schools across the UK are taking on new GCSE and A-Level curriculum, but most if not all are working in largely isolated groups in their own classrooms, schools or MATs. Why? Surely in the 21st century there is a better way.
I’ve also been thinking about how I actually learnt as a student and how I develop my skills now. We are constantly told that we need to grow our students into independent learners, but what does that mean? How do you achieve that?
Whenever I try to learn something new in the last few years, I YouTube it. A video helps me understand as it combines visual stimulus with audio descriptions. As adults we are largely independent learners because we have the tools and the motivation. Motivations are unique to the individual, but why can’t we build the tools together?
I’ve been thinking about starting a Science collaboration open to all Science teachers across England to develop resources and pool ideas. Using software that is available to us today and platforms for sharing for free, I want to develop resources that are different to what is available in today’s market. If this is of any interest to you, maybe we can share the workload?
Starting with Why?
We want students to become independent learners and this project will allow that. Current tutorial videos do not cover the whole course or are honestly too long or too boring (in my opinion) to engage students.
I know that we won’t ever be able to replace the insight and expertise of a teacher to adapt their lessons to the needs of their students, but imagine a complete set of resources that allow students and teachers to work through their learning individually. Imagine a set of resources that are tailored to the new GCSE and A-Levels that’s not only teach the content, but link to practice questions, model answers and worked examples of the practice questions so that students can learn from their mistakes. Quick check quizzes that truly measure the students starting points on a subject. Random quizzes that can be generated by teachers so that starters for lessons are straight forward and develop recall knowledge for students.
We work too hard already and there is too much work all the time. Sharing on a broader level can not only reduce workload but improve outcomes. There is so much power in the collection of brilliant and committed minds. Let’s be the generation of Science teachers that changed not only the way we think about STEM education, but revolutionised it.
I don’t claim to know all the answers, and I couldn’t tell you what works for every student, but with enough minds collaborating and contributing a small amount of their time, imagine what we could achieve.
@nasik1988 Head of Science – Croydon, London