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Administration re-emphasizes Layered Curriculum

As part of an ongoing dedication to annual improvement of academic standards on campus, administration hosted Dr. Kathie Nunley at the teacher’s inservice on Jan. 10.

Nunley, the author of the educational commentary, Layered Curriculum, spoke on topics ranging from how the brain functions to when students are the most receptive to teaching techniques.

“Dr. Nunley was excellent, entertaining and informative,” Jon Endicott, vice principal, said. “Her presentation provided new information and challenged our school to continue to promote excellence in teaching.

According to Endicott, administration’s main focus is to be able to accommodate every student and meet all their academic needs by using a variety of methods to move students to think critically.

“We are encouraging teachers to stress the application of their curriculum in the everyday lives of their students,” Endicott said. “Teachers need to be more than presenters. They need to ensure that learning is taking place in the classroom.”

Ellen King is one of the teachers on campus who is employing the administrations strategy.

“I did a trial run before the in-service so I would know where I was struggling and what worked,” King, world history teacher, said. “Dr. Nunley addressed all the questions I had and I have found that the layered curriculum style of teaching is very informative and successful.”

Despite a traditionally strong academic program on campus, administration plans to buoy their attempts to raise standards by reminding teachers of the concept of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s, a hierarchy of learning in pyramid structure form, should assist teachers in daily lesson planning, according to Principal Gary Schultz.

“We are continuing to reevaluate teaching techniques,” Schultz said. “By doing this, our school continues to meet the needs of excellent students as well as special need students.”

Since 1956, Bloom’s Taxonomy has given teachers new ways to challenge students to learn on higher levels. At the suggestion of Dr. Nunley, teachers plan to use the pyramid style of teaching to influence students to challenge themselves to think up the pyramid and improve their academic abilities.

“I use Bloom’s Taxonomy to get students to think at higher levels by employing short answer, thought provoking questions rather than reading comprehension questions,” Molly Sargent, English department chair, said. “Essay questions get students to analyze whereas basic questions about the novel only check if students read or not.”

According to Superintendent Tim Wilkins, administration is re-emphasizing Bloom’s Taxonomy on a school-wide level.

“Bloom’s Taxonomy has been around for a long time,” Wilkins said. “Our retooling effort school-wide identifies excellent teaching techniques both old and new in a comprehensive school-wide effort to be the school God wants us to be.”

For more information on Dr. Nunley’s book and research, visit www.brains.org and www.help4teachers.com. For additional information on Bloom’s Taxonomy, visit www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/program/hndouts/bloom.html.

” “” “” “” “” “Brain.org

Help 4 Teachers

Bloom’s Taxonomy: University of Victoria Counseling Services

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