I’m writing this post from Queen Margaret University following an exceptionally positive Subject Learning Community meeting with East Lothian Home Economics teachers. Fearghal Kelly gives a much more comprehensive description of what constitutes a Subject Learning Community than I could ever manage, so I won’t try to describe them in detail, but I have stolen his first paragraph and copied it here:
Although Curriculum for Excellence requires us as secondary teachers to make greater efforts to offer our students more interdisciplinary experiences and to place a greater emphasis on the development of their skills, there will still always be a role for subject specialists in the secondary school. It is important to remember that the changes under CfE should be a shift. A correction in balance. A movement towards. It should not be a pendulum swing. We need to find the right balance between subject content knowledge and interdisciplinary learning & skill development, not jump from one extreme to the other.
In the above extract Fearghal captures superbly our commitment to, and recognition of, the importance of subject specialists to the successful implementation of a Curriculum for Excellence.
To that end we have been holding a series of evening seminars at QMU to meet with subject specialists to share our ideas for a Subject Learning Community and to ascertain if any teachers would like to be trained as facilitators. We reckon that by the time we’ve finished our last twilight session that over 25% of secondary teachers will have met with us and discussed the concept and shared their own ideas for possible areas of focus – which is a remarkable testimony to the professionalism of our teachers.
The content and programme of seminars and materials are available here.
Fearghal has established a Blog for these groups and it’s interesting to reflect on the issues they identify at their separate meetings – with primary secondary transition being a very common theme.
I have to say that these events are amongst my most eagerly awaited times of the week.