Not long ago I had a conversation with bestselling author, journalist and commentator, Madonna King about fathers and daughters and how they can create strong, unbreakable bonds. It was an interesting conversation because there is such a lot to discuss but we did touch on a few topics which are dear to my heart. In her book Madonna explores a fathers role from a daughters perspective as well as through a fathers eyes as a way of exploring this important relationship. The book combines knowledge from leading psychologists, school principals, parenting experts, CEO's, police, guidance counsellors and neuroscientists to provide the answers dads, daughters and mums are looking for.
I'm lucky to be quoted throughout the book, you might be interested in checking it out in our store, if you know someone who would enjoy reading it.
I was struck by this image which came across my Facebook feed as it made me think about integration and how far we've progressed (or not) in the area of subject integration. For many years Adolescent Success has advocated for subject integration in the middle years. Why? ... because it's better for young adolescents. Learning which is integrated is authentic and it means students can engage in deep learning experiences which encourage problem based learning, inquiry learning, rich learning tasks and collaborative and personal projects.
I think there is a way to authentically integrate subjects while still respecting the status of the single subject. With the rise of STEM and STEAM and now STREAM projects there is an opportunity for us to re-invent the integration model for learners in the middle years. I'm in awe of the presenter in this picture who has invented HAMSTER (Humanities, Art, Math, Science, Technology, Engineering, Reading/Research) because, why should we limit integration to just Science, Technology and Maths?
If you're considering integration, these points from Tony Dowden page 186 "Teaching Middle Years" are a useful guide:
"* Establish a clear and unambiguous rationale for implementing curriculum integration.
* Design student-centred curriculum integration that helps students achieve personal development goals and build social connections (especially in Years 5-7).
* Ensure that all teachers understand developmental needs in the middle years when implementing student-centred curriculum integration.
* Implement subject-centred multidisciplinary units in instances in which two or more disciplinary perspectives are desirable and this leads to deep learning, but avoid subject-centred multidisciplinary units unless the inclusion of each subject can be justified on a case by case basis."
This book is such powerful tool for teachers and educators of young adolescents, that we decided to create a workshop around it! This book features contributions from leading experts in the field of middle years education and is based on research. What we love about the 3rd edition is that it includes such a comprehensive chapter on transition as well as detailed information on key areas of middle years pedagogy.
"Every teacher of young adolescents (10-15 year olds), should have a copy of this book and also have the opportunity to collaboratively read, discuss and synthesise the vital information it contains." - Angela White, Executive Officer Adolescent Success
About the authors:
Professor Donna Pendergast is Dean and Head of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. Dr Katherine Main is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University and Professor Nan Bahr is Dean, Arts, Education and Law Group at Griffith University.
You can purchase it here.
Adolescent Success Inc. (formerly MYSA Middle Years of Schooling Association)
Adolescent Success, P.O. Box 2175 Toowong 4066, QLD, Australia