How do schools get better at achieving goals that are most important to them? We have been exploring this question in a series of free Curriculum Breakfast Masterclasses held in Australian capital cities. Besides an opportunity to meet great educators, we have received positive feedback on the direction we’ve taken with Edumate’s Curriculum Mapping and Delivery software. This software helps schools accurately map their curriculum back to their required standards, as well as embed their own school’s values, vision, and frameworks directly into unit planning.
We are continually impressed by how sincerely schools care about their students and want to help them succeed. We have found that the nature of this success varies across schools. In a recent session, three schools shared different and equally valuable versions of success. One school focused on a deep connection to nature with an emphasis on values including sustainability and ethical choices. Another school served disengaged students who have abandoned (or have been abandoned by) traditional schools. This school gives extra attention to students’ personal and social capabilities while encouraging career qualifications. A third school pursued the heroic goal of personalising success at individual student levels while encouraging excellence in a balance of social, academic, and physical growth.
As distinct as these goals are, one commonality these and other schools share is that their own values are at least as important as their duty to deliver their mandated curriculum. And isn’t this as it should be? How many schools can answer this question with clarity and precision: “Where can you see these most important goals come to life everyday in your classrooms?” Even when teachers are motivated by a shared moral imperative to achieve what matters most, the norm is that teachers are isolated from each other and what happens in classrooms varies greatly.
This is where Edumate’s Curriculum Mapping and Delivery software comes into the conversation. Rather than a dreary task for individual teachers, software can help teachers work collaboratively to create rich units that bring to life their school’s special characteristics. The units can be copied – from an outstanding individual unit to a whole school’s curriculum – and set up a process of refinement and continuous improvement. Years ago such software didn’t exist, and we appreciate the chance to share what excites us with leading educators. We look forward to future Curriculum Breakfast Master Classes in 2017 and encourage all school leaders to attend.