Core knowledge in global learning
Core knowledge in global learning
Bringing together these two aspects of the curriculum may seem paradoxical, but it cuts to the very essence of decision-making in a ‘slimmed down’ national curriculum.
‘The National Curriculum should set out clearly the core knowledge and understanding that all children should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling.’ (White Paper: The Importance of Teaching.(2011)Para 4.7)
‘The global dimension explores what connects us to the rest of the world. It enables learners to engage with complex global issues and explore links between their own lives and people, places and issues throughout the world. The global dimension can relate to both developing and developed countries. It helps learners to imagine different futures and the role they can play in creating a fair and sustainable world.’ (The current National Curriculum)
In addition to the ‘acquisition’ of knowledge and the conceptual framework, there is the matter of pedagogy – the structuring of learning activities (or how it is taught) which is not specified by the national curriculum. Help with activities is available here http://www.globalfootprints.org/classroom
“It is intended that the new curriculum will provide a benchmark for all schools including those that are not required by law to teach the national curriculum.” DfE
With the draft National Curriculum available, we can see a provisional programme of study
Key Stage 2
Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area and the United Kingdom to include Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical tools and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
Pupils should be taught to:
Source: DfE (March 2013)
Hola Perú http://www.holaperu.org.uk/ This would be a great choice for a new country topic. Lovely visuals and music - Spanish language learning - all round global learning.
Core knowledge might include the location of:
- South America as a continent, a land mass with many countries
- five named countries in South America
- Atacama Desert, River Amazon and Rainforest
- varied landscapes spanning the equator
Core knowledge might include identification of:
- similarities in urban lifestyles
- goods grown for export to Britain
- significance of food and water supply
However… this does not make a scheme of work and this core knowledge would not be taught in isolation. We need a topic ‘wrapper’ (scheme of work or some new name for it) which will be seen to include this slimmed down national curriculum. It leaves us with selecting appropriate contexts and learning activities. This can be done in terms of previous units (or topics) and can continue to make effective use of existing learning resources.
Ask yourself, how have I taught this before? What resources have I used?
It might be in connection with trade of products such as bananas or cocoa beans.
You may have used a country study pack for Kenya or, say, Ghana. What would you need for Peru or Brazil?
These learning resources may need updating. You will need to ensure you can cover sufficient content on, say, the climate zones of the whole continent. Check your atlases or search online.
The Global Footprints website section on global issues makes a good start.