A Few Curriculum Changes Can Make a Big Difference

The Problem

Lorna, a Year 9 science teacher had a feeling her students weren’t really all that excited by science. She decided to see if her assumptions were true and started to ask them how engaged they were. In her first round of feedback, she found that the kids on average only felt like they were putting in a 5 out of 10 for effort in science. A few months later, when she checked in with them the kids again, the average result was that 6.5 out of 10 for effort. We think she is on track to something really cool, and want to share the love so that other teachers can copy or collaborate with Lorna.

Lorna’s Solution

  1. Lorna kicked off by surveying the students, asking four quick questions:
    1. How much effort do you put into science?
    2. What do you like about science?
    3. If you could do more practical things in science, what would you like to do?
    4. What career are you hoping for?
  2. Using the data from step 1, Lorna calculated the average rating across the class, finding that effort was only at a 5 out of 10.
  3. She set to work to develop a learning program that reflected the kind of course the students wanted. She focused on building a course that was high in practical work, had more videos and documentaries, had more collaborative work, and with a really clear focus for each class.
  4. She ran the new program for a term, and then had the kids take the survey to see if the new program was more engaging. She was at a 6.5 out of 10 for effort after one term, and has decided to keep going with the new teaching methods, improving her classes as best she can.

Like the Idea?

If you would like to copy this approach in your school, Lorna is fine with this, in fact she is even open to sharing some of her resources with you. Shoot an email to kathryn@educationchangemakers.com if you want to get in touch with Lorna and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.

Categories: STEM, Student achievement

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