Saturday, March 1, 2014

Topic or Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI)

Let's start with the basics.  One of the first decisions to be made is what format to use when formulating curriculum.  For me, the choice was pretty obvious.  I liked the topic based format because it integrated the content under big ideas or themes.  I am hesitant to call them themes, however, as I lived through the end of the last time we organized curriculum by theme.  The idea was good but the execution was bad.  The classic example was students would study Egyptian history in Social Studies.  In math, they would study the geometry of the pyramids.  So far, so good.  The idea would go off the rails when the science teacher would study mummification and the students would make mummy models.  Back on topic.  The integration of content is something that has really come about in the last few years.  It is no longer enough to be a biologist.  You need to understand how Biology integrates with Physics as well.  A more extreme example would be a paleontologist that started as an art major.  The ability to see the patterns and make spatial connections is as important as knowing what rock layer and bone is sticking out of the ground.  The only problem I have is figuring out the logic behind the organization of the PE's.  Was there a plan when they were organized this way or was it more like "yeah, that fits." So where do you stand-Topic or DCI?

1 comment:

  1. I am right there with you, I too was in the mix of teaching "themes". But I was lucky enough to be teaching Kindergarten at the time, so it wasn't too bad. I had a plan, made an outline and at least knew where I wanted to end up…lol