Curriculum Coherence: TOK & P4C concept lightbulbs

Today was the first day of the new academic year with students after a week of inset training.

Last week we had a whole secondary training on TOK for subject teachers which was the final part of training in our work towards curriculum coherence using TOK.

To begin to bring about a coherent curriculum we have decided to look at ways that TOK (Theory of Knowledge) can act as a joint between different subjects. This could be pursued in a variety of ways:

  1. Developing horizontal links between TOK and subjects within particular year levels.
  2. Developing vertical links by embedding TOK lower down the school:
    1. through form time activities
    2. through links to curriculum content in MYP and GCSE
  3. Inculcating conceptual ways of thinking within members of the teaching team over time.
  4. Inculcating thinking routines, moves and steps as techniques that learners of all ages can use to think through problems

Last year we began this process by learning about Philosophy for Communities (P4C) where we learned a suite of techniques that can be used to open up a classroom to dialogic teaching.

We now unpacked what TOK is with the aim of helping all teachers in the secondary understand a little more about what this strange subject is all about and help them get over their “Feary of knowledge”. We hope that this will encourage all our team to be a little more daring in trying to link to TOK in their lessons or plan to present their content in a way that is more exposed to uncertainty and therefore debate. This isn’t something that has to happen all the time but occasionally it will provide opportunity for students to reflect, discuss and debate.

To that end I updated the P4C concept lightbulbs (used in the P4C full inquiry method) to include terms more suited to a TOK classroom and I also weighted it a little more to the science classroom as that is one that I work. These lightbulbs will allow DP teachers to use the P4C inquiry model to open up discussion about the nature of knowledge with their students. What do you think? Can you add any more concepts?

Download (PDF, 600KB)

Education Personal Resources Teaching & Learning

PGCE Research: Teacher Understandings of Educational Neuroscience

Below is the pdf of my research project that I completed as part of my PGCE top-up course. It followed from a fuller literature review that can be read here.

Completed in 2015, I only just realised that I didn’t have a link to it.

Download (PDF, 387KB)

Books Resources

The Parenting Bookshelf

Through the threshold library

The parenting bookshelf

Books that I have read and that have informed my thinking as a parent. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, they have also influenced the way that I have thought about education too.

  1. A parent’s guide to raising kids Overseas (Volume 1) – by Jeff Devens
  2. Raising babies – by Steve Biddulph
  3. How to raise an adult – by Julie Lythcott-Haims – my review.
  4. Raising girls – by Steve Biddulph
Books Resources

The guidance bookshelf

Through the threshold library

The guidance bookshelf

Useful books that I use for university guidance.

How to raise an adult – by Julie Lythcott-Haims – my review.

There is life after college – by Jeffery Selingo

College (un)bound – by Jeffery Selingo

Colleges that create futures – by Robert Franek

So you want to go to Oxbridge? Tell me about a banana – by Oxbridge Applications

Thinking skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (CIE) – by John Butterworth (I bought this for students planning on taking the TSA).

Looking beyond the Ivy league – by Loren Pope

Colleges that change lives – by Loren Pope

HEAP Guide – updated each year

Fiske Guide to Colleges – updated each year

Good university guide – updated each year

Strength finder 2.0 – by Tom Rath

Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition – by Tina Quick

What should I do with my life (card game) – by the school of life

Books Resources

The biologist’s bookshelf

Through the threshold library

The biologist’s bookshelf

One of the first things that I did when I started this blog was to publish the bio reading list, basically a list of books that I considered useful for biology teachers and their students to read. That post is a little tired now, so I update it to the biologist’s bookshelf and include all the books that I have read since it was published.

You can add to this list by commenting on the tweet above, or leaving a comment below.

  1. Bad Science – by Ben Goldacre
  2. The sixth extinction: an unnatural history – by Elizabeth Kolbert
  3. Thirteen things that don’t make sense – by Michael Brooks
  4. The magic of reality – by Richard Dawkins
  5. The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks – by Rebecca Skloot
  6. Creation: the origin of life/the future of life – by Adam Rutherford
  7. The language of life – by Francis Collins
  8. The rational optimist – by Matt Ridley
  9. Quantum evolution: the new science of life – by Johnjoe Mcfadden
  10. The diversity of life – by E.O. Wilson
  11. Impossibility – by John Barrow
  12. Collapse – by Jared Diamond
  13. Thinking, fast and slow – by Daniel Kahneman
  14. The self illusion – by Bruce Hood
  15. The selfish gene – by Richard Dawkins
  16. Genome – by Matt Ridley
  17. Your inner fish – by Neil Shubin
  18. The secret life of trees – by Colin Tudge
  19. The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks
  20. The Handmaid’s tail – by Margaret Atwood
  21. The Inheritors – by William Golding
  22. The Baroque cycle – by Neal Stephenson
  23. Seveneves – by Neal Stephenson
  24. Aping mankind – by Raymond Tallis
  25. Getting Darwin wrong – by Brendan Wallace
  26. The vital question – by Nick Lane
  27. Life Ascending – by Nick Lane
  28. The greatest show on earth – by Richard Dawkins
  29. The song of the Dodo – by David Quammen
  30. The lives of a cell – by Lewis Thomas
  31. Why evolution is true – by Jerry Coyne
  32. Faith vs fact – by Jerry Coyne
  33. The Serengeti rules – by Sean Carroll
  34. Being mortal – by Atul Gawande
  35. Patient H.M. – by Luke Dittrich
  36. A brief history of everyone whoever lived – by Adam Rutherford
  37. I contain multitudes – by Ed Yong
  38. Neanderthal man – by Svante Paabo
  39. The serpents promise – by Steve Jones
  40. The book of humans – Adam Rutherford
  41. When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi
  42. This is going to hurt – Adam Kay
  43. Stiff – Mary Roach
  44. I, Mammal – Liam Drew
  45. Superior – Angela Saini
  46. Parasite Rex – Carl Zimmer
  47. What is life? – Erwin Schrodinger
  48. The Demon in the machine – Paul Davies
  49. The body – Bill Bryson
  50. The incredible unlikeliness of being – Alice Roberts
  51. The Epigenetics Revolution – Nessa Carey
  52. Junk DNA – Nessa Carey
  53. The Tangled Tree – David Quammen
  54. The Gene – Siddhartha Mukherjee
  55. A Crack in Creation – Jennifer Doudna
  56. Factfulness – Hans Rosling
  57. Life on Earth – David Attenborough
  58. 10 million aliens – Simon Barnes
  59. Biology as ideology – Richard Lewontin