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Science

VISION & MISSION Today’s Curriculum Defining Tomorrow’s Education

Vision
A rigorous Science curriculum driven by self-directed learning fuelled by passion, grounded in sound values and supported by new media

GOALS Mission
What Goals Does TK Science Curriculum Aspire to Achieve?

TK aims to fashion a science curriculum that shapes and integrates Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future (Gardner, 2008) in all students:

  • disciplined mind,
  • synthesising mind,
  • creating mind,
  • respectful mind and
  • ethical mind

According to Gardner students need to be experts in at least one discipline (the disciplined mind) in the future. To acquire the disciplined mind TK graduates need to master subject matter and achieve disciplinary competence of appreciating the sciences at macroscopic, microscopic and symbolic levels.

In this digital age with information overload, TK graduates with knowledge within this discipline must be able to sieve out what is important and communicate to others (the synthesising mind).

Once TK graduates have leamt and synthesised knowledge, they need to think outside the box of this discipline (the creating mind) to innovate or solve problems.

While the above three minds are related to intellect, the next two minds are related to character. With the world becoming more diverse, TK graduates must respect those who differ as well as those with whom they have similarities (the respectful mind).

Last, TK graduates must act ethically; they have to think beyond self-interests and do what is right under the circumstances (the ethical mind).

PROGRAMMES What Student Experiences Are Provided By TK Science Curriculum?

TK Science Curriculum is organised around key concepts and important big ideas to seed enduring understandings.

This motivates our students to see relationships and connections and draw out deep level of disciplinary understanding  They make meaning of their learning and experience independent thinking.

How Is TK Science Curriculum Organised To Support Student Experiences?

TK Science Curriculum draws inspiration from Fogarfy’s (2002) integrated curriculum models, namely the connected and the nested models.

  • The connected model focuses on making explicit connections within the discipline, connecting one concept to the next, one unit to another or even a semester’s ideas to what follows.
  • The nested model targets the integration of multiple skills: a social skill such as cooperation; a thinking skill such as cause and effect; a content-specific skill such as inquiry through problem solving in science  Nested integration takes advantage of natural clusters in a single learning experience to yield the maximum mileage from every lesson (Fogarty, 2002).

These two models are situated in authentic contexts whereby students participate in meaning making practices similar to that of the science community. The choice of these contexts appeals to students’ interests and anchors upon relevance to their daily lives.

How is TK Science Curriculum Enacted To Provice Quality Student Experiences?

Pedagogies. To acculturate students into reasoning and explanation discourse, pedagogies that characterise student talk to achieve meaning making are employed. Instead of assuming students understand the concepts, teachers ask them to articulate and make their thinking visible. As such, the classroom discourse is characterised by student voice through substantive discussion, thoughtful argumentation and Socratic questioning by teachers.

Learning activities. Attention is directed to students working in a variety of grouping configurations. Collaboratively, they work on learning activities that lead to a spirit of inquiry.

Role of teacher. The teacher ensures correct scientific meaning making is mediated during these activities. The teacher scaffolds the students in internalising new enduring understandings  The teacher supports the students in applying the new understandings, while gradually handing over to them responsibility for their use.

Assessment. Assessment serves as a bridge between teaching and learning. Through assessment for learning there is continuous monitoring of students’ understandings and teachers responding to those understandings or lack of them. Instructions are always differentiated or adjusted to better meet student needs.

How does TK Create this High-Quality Science Curriculum?

An iterative refining approach is central to creating a high-quality TK Science Curriculum. First, science educators are engaged in ongoing lesson studies that formalise constant reflection on the effects of their instruction. Second, teachers share their practitioner knowledge in a scientific manner. Last, responsive recommendations for adjustments in the enactment of our curriculum are made to improve TK graduates’
leaming.

In TK the science educators are optimistic today’s curriculum will take flight and define tomorrow’s educational landscape.

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