So, what’s the Big Idea?
Core Competencies, Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies and Content Competencies – these are all key terms from BC’s Redesigned curriculum and are new for many teachers. While many teachers have planned from a cross-curricular or inquiry based standpoint, the revised curriculum now strongly reinforces the value of this approach.
The KDU graphic can help you recognize the interconnections across these aspects of curriculum.
As teachers in BC, we are required to deliver the curriculum. BC’s redesigned curriculum is at varying stages of implementation (from draft to required) depending on the grade level and subject area. It is now fully implemented in Grades Kindergarten to 9 and in process in Grades 10 – 12 with expected full implementation by 2020.
- Communication, Thinking and Personal Social Competencies are are expected to be integrated across subject areas.
- They are not formally assessed ‘by the teacher’ in the same way as curricular content and competencies but are essential skills that underlie all teaching and learning.
- Teachers are expected to support students in developing and self-assessing their growth. This involves self-assessment as pre-, during- and post-teaching opportunities and are often embedded in self-assessment rubrics, reflective writing and in performance assessment.
- Profiles exist to support understanding where your students lie with respect to the competencies (these are not ‘grade or age level’ profiles but descriptors of students as they progress to increasingly sophisticated stages of competency)
- An analogy from a PD session that may help you understand the profiles: A ‘Profile 1’ in Personal Social (Social Responsibility) might show an individual just beginning to develop recognition outside of self; a ‘Profile 8’ illustration might describe someone akin to “Ghandi”
- “I Can” statements can help in planning to integrate the core competencies into learning experiences.
- Suggested big ideas are found on the Ministry site.
- Click here to download an ‘at a glance’ grade by grade list –BC Curriculum Big Ideas
- These are not ‘mandated’ curriculum and are also not formally assessed. Teachers are free to develop their own big ideas (or co-develop them with students!) to support planning and assessment to meet the needs, interests and passions of their learners in keeping with curricular goals.
- Teachers might word these as essential or guiding questions.
Curricular Competencies & Content Competencies
- These are the required curriculum to be delivered across a grade level.
- These can be combined where you have combined age classes.
- The focus of learning is on the curricular competencies (which are the essential skills and processes leading to conceptual understanding) – the vehicle is the content (and will likely include additional content decided upon by the teacher and/or the students to support personalization)
- Teachers will not be required to report on each individual Curricular & Content Competency but should be planning for assessment of the competencies throughout units and lessons.
- Within the online document, as hover text, elaborations help to clarify and provide examples within many of the Curricular and Content Competency descriptors.
Next Steps in planning: Teachers generally begin with the ‘big picture planning’.