Evaluation of process
Evaluation of process includes a reflective account on how this curriculum was developed, what issues and challenges were faced by the creators, and how these issues were addressed/resolved.
It can be stated that with the creation of any curriculum issues are sure to arise. Though ultimately it is how these issues are overcome that truly creates a meaningful and well-developed curriculum. The creation of this unit, ‘Working for justice in Australia’ is no different. These issues emerged out of the design of the curriculum, as dictated by the five principles of curriculum design, particularly the linking of this religious unit with other cross-curriculum units and ensuring students are motivated through challenging and meaningful lesson plans.
The various aspects which constitute the curriculum e.g. unit plan/ teaching sequence and the ten lesson plans, were evenly split between the two creators, Stephanie Ricciuti and Kate-Michelle Von Riegen. Kate undertook the creation of the rationale, expected unit outcomes/indicators for learning, Unit plan/teaching sequence and four of the lesson plans. While Stephanie completed the principles of curriculum design, six of the lesson plans and the evaluation of process, along with the creation of the website.
An issue that was faced in the creation of this curriculum was the formulating of an integrated curriculum that “facilitates meaningful associations across subject matter.” (Anderson, 2013) As stated within the principles of curriculum design, principle 2, ‘Curriculum is constructive, sequential and interlinked’ (Meyers & Nulty, 2008), it was essential that the curriculum incorporated cross-curriculum activities and experiences to build upon student past knowledge and facilitate higher order thinking. The way in which we decided to link this religious unit with cross-curriculum integration was to center the unit upon an assessment. We knew the assessment had to involve justice and sustainability but how was the assessment going to involve aspects of other disciplines? Originally the assessment asked students to create a ‘Social Justice Action Plan’ which centered upon creating a piece of technology which answered the call for new forms of sustainable resources. Though this would link the assessment with the technology syllabus, we felt the assessment was not reaching it’s full potential in providing students with meaningful learning experiences and activities.
With much reflection we realized we were missing a golden opportunity to make the assessment meaningful to all students by leaving the assessment open. Students could link the assessment with any of their other courses. As stated within the rationale, “Drama and English students may propose to raise awareness about the issues of environmental sustainability with a school-wide drama festival or creative writing competition.” This can be perceived to be a strong asset of the curriculum, as students have the amazing opportunity to make decisions for themselves, which is an essential element of inquiry based learning. And as stated in principle 5 of the curriculum design, ‘Curriculum provides challenges, interest and motivation to learn’ (Meyers & Nulty, 2008) it is an essential part of this inquiry-based curriculum that students have the amazing choice over their own education and will hopefully lead to student motivation.
Overall, it can be stated that this curriculum holds amazing potential to create meaningful and insightful experiences for students by integrating cross-curricular tasks and introducing inquiry-based learning as a way to motivate students.