During the school year 2007-08, Tide~ developed an approach to the new curriculum that would enable cross-curricular planning with a global focus.  Each planning cycle centred on a ‘big idea’.  This idea would draw upon several subject disciplines, and enable learners to explore a real-life issue in a number of ways.

Planning cycle - click here

The group of teachers on the Learning from Kerala course used the notion of ‘big ideas’ to identify issues that arose whilst in Kerala.  They formed questions that might work as the focus for planning learning including:

  • How does history shape the present?
  • What shapes values within society?
  • Can media shape the global citizen?
  • Commonality and difference: what do we have in common? what are the differences?
  • What can we do about climate change?
  • How does advertising affect people?
  • How does immigration change areas?
  • What shapes communities: commonality or difference?
  • How can we identify commonalities of differences?

They were all questions that, in the event, could also be asked here in Birmingham.  One group focused on commonality … and difference:

A What focus … Why?

How can we identify commonality and difference [between societies]? (Choose one of the below and concentrate on that):

Use stimulus questions eg:

  • What do we all have in commo n – those from different countries?
  • What are my opportunities within my community to engage as a global citizen?
  1. Community
  2. Media
  3. History & Culture
  4. Political engagement
  5. Environment
  6. Lifestyle

B What do we hope learners will gain?

  • Reflections
  • Independent thinking
  • Change of attitude to difference – away from “us & them”
  • Teamwork
  • New skills / discussion skills
  • Question validity of information sources
  • Awareness of audience
  • Sharing ideas

C How are we going to enable this learning?

  • Photos
  • Posters
  • Newspapers
  • Internet
  • Flyposting
  • Key quotes
  • Human resource > personal experience

D How do we enable learners to recognise this learning?

  • Simple research question asked at start & end of cycle so learners can evaluate their own learning.
  • Identify skills they have gained doing this task.