Beginning with The New Zealand Curriculum
The school project goals were that the team would:
- align all technology modules to The New Zealand Curriculum
- create coherent teaching and learning across and between modules
- make technology terminology and approaches (including graphic organisers) consistent
- develop assessment rubrics and a new reporting system.
What is technology?
The group's first focus was on what is technology? With facilitator Cheryl Pym's help, they spent time unpacking the technology learning area. They particularly looked at curriculum levels 3 and 4 and the language of technology.
They examined the indicators of progression and discussed them in detail.
- What does that mean?
- What does that look like?
- What is that word?
- How does it fit in when we're talking to students?
Focusing first on one strand
They looked at:
- what it involved
- what was missing in their school
- what successful technological practice should look like.
This involved a lot of work. All five teachers agreed that by the end of the year they felt rather despondent. They had been working for a very long time but felt that they hadn't made any major changes in their teaching of technology.
The turning point
The turning point came when suddenly everyone realised that things had changed. There was more confidence in the vocabulary they were using as a team. They were making links with the learning area and The New Zealand Curriculum. The teachers had taken steps to ensure they were offering technology instead of disconnected technology 'subject' areas. Sue notes that every time she taught a programme of learning, she adapted it to reflect the learning they had done with Cheryl, in discussions as a team, and through reading.
"At the first meeting we had sat like stunned mullets thinking 'Oh gosh, this is so huge' but Cheryl used to tell us 'just take baby steps'. And working with her through those little steps meant that after 18 months they all joined up and everything jelled".