In this unit, I have been looking at standards for my private government school in Thailand. The school tends to follow the Basic Education Core Curriculum from the M.O.E (Ministry of Education of Thailand) and more recently this year, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). At first, it was difficult to obtain the updated standards for the school, as a majority of the information was in Thai only and no one, unfortunately, had an updated translated version. The only translated version I was able to acquire was from 2008.
We first looked at unpacking standards. At initial glance, looking at the standards does seem a little overwhelming, but the course allowed me to break down and unpack the standards to help identify what the students will need to know and how they will meet those standards. I first started at highlighting key verbs and nouns within the standard. As a result, this enabled me to break down what is the required learning for the students.
1. Research for relevant information and provide evidence.
2. Explain relationships between the Sun, Earth, the moon and other planets.
3. Demonstrate their knowledge gained and apply it along with using mathematics for designing and creating a scaled model of the Solar System in a team.
Another way to help put these standards into a good perspective is to begin at the end. Otherwise known as backwards planning or backwards mapping. The basic idea motivating backwards design is to start with the end goal. This helps teachers put it into the perspective of what expectations they need to set for the students in order for them to achieve their goals. I didn’t know originally this was a term or a teaching practice. It is something we sort of practice within my school. At the beginning of every term before the school officially starts, the school provides the overviews of topics. In a meeting with the Director of the school, she explains her expectations on how she would like students to be assessed and explains what our goals will be for our students.
In summary, the Director of our school provided us with the end result for what students should have attained. From there, we the teachers can build lesson plans around these goals accordingly.
Later, I observed a video from the Teacher Channel based on a strategy called SWBAT (Students Will Be Able To). I feel this video would definitely be useful for my teachers within my school to assist them.
(link provided – SWBAT: Communicating Learning Goals)
This is about the importance of communicating learning goals for the students. A helpful phrase such as SWBAT can help identify for students, what they will be doing and how it will be accomplished, “students will be able to…”. I’ve honestly never thought of using a technique like this in the classroom but after seeing the benefits of this in the video, I believe I can definitely start to implement this in my future classes. It’s another great way of setting short-term/long-term expectations for the class.
This unit also showed me how to incorporate SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Targeted to the learner). Along with the influence of Blooms Taxonomy, I was able to create and plan student objectives that were specific, measurable or observable, could be attained by the students, relevant, results orientated and targeted the desired level of learning to combine and meet the school standards.
(My SMART Goals for Grade 9 Science in Thailand)
Overall, I’ve learnt about unpacking a standard, backwards mapping and writing student objectives. I found this incredibly helpful in planning my lessons and teaching to the standards mentioned earlier. I believe it’s important for teachers like myself to continue, share and find ways to improve for the benefit of our students and their future. I know how every student is different, hence why I like to provide many various differentiated assessments for the students to participate, apply, explain and demonstrate their understanding. After learning more about standards this week, I am determined to apply what I’ve learnt so far, by improving my planning and setting attainable goals to help prepare and benefit my 21st Century students for tomorrows learning world.
Anderson, L.W., Krathwohl, D.R., Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Pearson, Allyn &
Bloom, B.S. (Ed.). Engelhart, M.D., Furst, E.J., Hill, W.H., Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.
Clark, R., Chopeta, L. (2004). Graphics for Learning : Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
Ministry of Education. (2008). The Basic Education Core Curriculum B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008). Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from act.ac.th: http://www.act.ac.th/document/1741.pdf
STEM EDUCATION THAILAND. (2014). รู้จักสะเต็ม. Retrieved December 5th, 2016, from stemedthailand.org: http://www.stemedthailand.org/?page_id=23 Teaching Channel. (2016).
SWBAT: Communicating learning goals. Retrieved December 7th, 2016, from teachingchannel.org: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/making-lesson-objectives-clear