We were delighted to welcome Tania Lattanzio and Andrea Muller from Innovative Global Education to Bandung International School last month to lead our EARCOS sponsored weekend workshop. There was a huge variety in the teaching backgrounds of the teachers – some were Elementary, some were Secondary; some were homeroom teachers, some single-subject teachers; some had a lot of experience teaching in an inquiry-based framework while others were still new to curriculum frameworks such as the IBPYP. However, everyone was really looking forward to learning from each other and from such well-known presenters!
On the first day of the workshop we examined differences in our students in order to arrive at a definition of differentiation; and considered why we need to differentiate in our classrooms. We looked at the role of options, choices and the environment in a differentiated classroom and considered ways of planning for content, process and content in order to effectively differentiate. On the second day, as well as reviewing the strategies presented on Day One, we explored the relationship between assessment, teaching and learning, focusing on the importance of formative assessment as a way to inform differentiated learning. We considered the value of varied resources and motivation in a differentiated classroom; and how to ensure that students are interested in their learning. We also explored the role of the teacher, students and environment.
Throughout the two days there was a balance of theory and practice and teachers particularly appreciated the practical activities in which we worked collaboratively on our own plans to include differentiation in our own teaching. Through presentations and examples from Tania and Andrea, hands-on, practical activities, and stimulating dialogue among teachers, all participants developed their understanding of the tools and strategies we need to effectively differentiate in our classrooms and to accommodate the varied needs of all students.
The focus on differentiation across the whole school and across different subject areas was extremely useful and gave us many ideas for implementing differentiation strategies in all classrooms, K-12. Also valuable was the opportunity to collaborate with teachers from other schools. Their varied contributions during the workshop contributed to the success of the discussions, as we compared approaches and practices in different schools. Feedback from our visitors, as well as from the teachers at our school, was very positive and many teachers mentioned the high quality of this professional development. As one teacher said, “It was great to be part of the workshop and to share ideas and strategies with such a passionate group of teachers.”
We would like to convey our thanks to EARCOS for sponsoring this year’s Weekend Workshop at Bandung International School, and to Tania and Andrea for being such great presenters! I really hope that we will be able to invite them back to our school to lead another professional development event in the future.
“Concept based learning”, a workshop held in Dar al Marefa private school – Dubai UAE in January 2012, was lead by Tania Lattanzio and Andrea Muller from IGE, was an excellent opportunity for all teachers in the school to start the term 2 with a reflection about how teaching and learning process works in our classrooms.
The workshop was full of hands-on activity and metacognition, teachers worked individually, in pairs and in grade level teams and gained new perspectives about the planning process and a deeper understanding of the connection between primary and secondary concepts and the difference between a curriculum based on facts and a curriculum based on concepts. Collaboration, discussion helped all the teachers to plan our new unit of work with a new perspective. The workshop built on the prior knowledge of each teacher and pushed the community of learners to take action during the first week after the workshop. We would like thank the IGE team for this great learning experience.
Innovative Global Education presenters Tania Lattanzio and Andrea Muller inspired educators from a group of Queensland schools. Their expertise and practical working knowledge of concept based curriculum and transdisciplinary learning provided real classroom examples of both in action. This highly interactive workshop left both classroom teachers and single subject teachers with more refined understandings of both themes, and a springboard for future application in whole school planning.
Whilst the workshop was not exclusively aimed at Primary Years Programme schools, the presenters’ wealth of experience with the International Baccalaureate was advantageous. At the same time links with the Australian curriculum requirements were enhanced. I would have no hesitation in recommending Innovative Global Education as a professional development resource of the highest standard.
Tania Lattanzio conducted an excellent three day in school workshop in out school in the Spring of 2014. At this time our units of inquiry needed to be revamped and the curriculum needed to be looked at carefully as we were unsure about how to go about curriculum mapping.
The need for true understanding of conceptual learning was apparent during the first day. During the workshop Tania's knowledge of conceptual planning, teaching and learning together with her ability to guide curriculum development ensured that the whole three days were particularly tailored to what our school needed most. Tania catered to teachers new and familiar with conceptual learning enabling all to gain a deeper insight. The Programme of Inquiry was revamped to everyone's satisfaction and it also provided time for true collaboration and is now in a healthy state for the coming years.
An alternative way to use the unit planner proved a great hit with all teachers and enbaled them to truely understand the planning process. Creating central ideas had always been a challenge as many teachers were not familiar with planning backwards. Looking at each Transdisciplinary theme the teachers identified the learning outcomes they felt were important for each unit of inquiry. The eventual central ideas were developed from the learning outcomes. After this we identified the concepts and a lot of emphasis was placed on the related concepts. Tania went into the reasons for this in practical ways which made a lot of sense to the cohort. Organising the learning experiences under the key concepts was a new venture which everyone agreed was preferable to the way we had planned previous to this.
The three days went very quickly, engaged everybody in the school and provided single subject teachers with an input they had previously not been exposed to. Management and staff were thoroughly impressed by the product and new knowledge we had gained at the end of three days. Time and money well spent with a view to having another workshop in the coming year with Innovative Global Education.