Imagine you’re a tree…

I spent a couple of years teaching in an International, American school, which was working towards implementing the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme at the time.

I took from the experience a couple of things:

  • the useful concept of a Scope & Sequence. That, in developing a scheme of work (of whatever size), decide what knowledge & skills content should be included, and then work out the order in which to best present it. And
  • a general dislike for interdisciplinary project work, which the IB seemed quite keen on: for example, each subject focussing on the Renaissance for a sustained period of time.

And so I was aghast to read that a country with a reputation for educational excellence – Finland – are scrapping the delivery of discrete subjects in favour of topics.  It seems to me that such an approach has the real potential to leave huge parts of subject content undelivered, in rather the same way as UK students of the 70s and 80s sometimes complain about not having been taught grammar, or how to draw, etc..

Great care will have to be applied at the planning stage, if this is to work.

It will be interesting to see the results.

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