The other day I posted about my frustration with my 12 Physics class. One of the approaches I decided to take was to use a standards-based format. Or, at least, my interpretation of it. I re-read all the ministry curriculum expectations, and mapped them to specific concepts. For each concept I listed all available resources, and which sample questions from the text were appropriately representative of what I expected of them.Then I gave them the package and a checklist.
For each item, I have a few randomized questions that they must complete to demonstrate mastery. I gave students the option to work ahead, and made “lessons” (ie teacher instruction) optional.
The results? So far, tentatively positive. Many of them get the idea (but I suppose they weren’t the ones I was worried about), though some think it’s okay to just jump in and try a problem set without doing the legwork first. So in some respects completing the problem sets has become the focus, not the learning required to do so – but at least for the most part they are actually doing something constructive, rather than nothing at all, so it’s a start.
The exercise is encouraging enough that I may try something similar with the remaining units in my 9 Science and 11 Physics classes.