My name is Albert Tan, and I worked as a teacher for high school students on the college level for Mathematics and Physics knowledge, with my background as an independent researcher. Mathematics and Physics are considered the field of science and challenging subject-matter topic at the high school level, especially they learned for college-level standard, even though students come to my course not for becoming scientists, and some of them even worry about the courses relating to science with what they want to become as a human. Meantime, I know that they want a new approach, a more scientific one to release their stress, cultivate their mental health, and improve their work efficiency within the effectiveness, as much as John Dewey (1952) mentioned they are all right in theory.
Likewise, Mathematics and Physics isn’t new topic like any other new subject, and up to this point, most of the case studies are practice past papers relating to the thing called “curriculum” of their chosen one. In other words, there is almost no similar practical lesson for me to reference into while what they learned just to become a “photocopy-machine-man” that knows how to adjust a bit. Therefore, it’s fair to say that my story of teaching when it comes to the curriculum is a journey of curriculum innovation with trial-and-error using creative thinking, analysis, and development as an independent researcher, mostly inspired by International Chess and LEGO Bricks.
Thus, this writing also reminds me of my earlier article in this site, which is Classroom Management that I wrote earlier, along with the topic about classroom rules. And since that time, this application has been improving not only just classroom rules but now become a method, which my colleague often calls Albert’s way. Therefore, the model of learning that I initially get inspired by combining the existences pattern from how Richard P. Feynman’s learning technique defines it, with the non-imagination beyond the prediction of International Chess games, and how LEGO can be implemented, and now I called AT.LS methods and rules. These methods and rules are:
Ask and Answers – Neither in our play for the International Chess or in our process to build a project by LEGO Bricks, then Richard P. Feynman mentioned identifying, improving, and optimizing. Therefore, a piece of evidence about we have understanding, and knowledge about the topic that we were discussing is throughout the process on our learning doubt for how they create the questions and accepting the answer from what they have learned, like been said by the great teacher we need to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed (Richard P. Feynmann, 1988).
Time Frame – in any situation and any conditions, either in the process of teaching-learning, with absorbing-sharing the knowledge, we have to set up a timely manner by recording when they give us the response and when did I as their teacher giving them the assignment.
The Dot (.) – a point that can be indicated as a stopping point or something that need to start, in which wherever myself and my student need to reflect each other from what both of us has been doing and how can we able to develop to become better on helping each other, especially to help my learner and how can my learner able to respond positively in action to their environment and social community regarding their learning, as we know the purpose of the curriculum is child development, growth, and social relationship (William Kilpatrick, 1965).
Lifely Live – which is the process for us as humans to learn, not only for me as hired teacher to deliver the content, but I should make it lively in proper ways as mentioned by Prof. Jean Clandinin (2012), “a fundamental view that people live and tell stories, and that’s our way of thinking about the experience, and it’s a narrative inquiry of what we try and do is to come alongside people.” With that, I could also know about my student to have their life to live in which lead them to know how synergy is their life to live with what they are learning is surely fun and lively, since the point that subject matter is developed around the interest of the learners and their social functions (Hollis Caswell, 1989).
System of Self. Which mean our learning on teaching should be better for ourselves, in either they formed as a self-reflection or self-less, but my student does their learning not because they followed the order of parents or teacher say so, but because their self-understanding on learning, as well as me as their teacher on delivering the material with the purpose of their learning, should be approachable and be flexible on the application as connecting one to another in our way to live, as been said everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his fact (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 2003).
With the view of my method and rules, then I still hope my curriculum development is a continuous process of encouraging students with their creativity, focus, and achievements, especially on their situation of life to live to define the underlying problems. The underlying problem like we can always see it either from the international chess game or while we are trying to find some matching bricks to connect it with the assembling project that we have. However, we also should know that curriculum development and the educational reform process continually undergo review, revision, and constant change (Johnson, 2001).
After all, I still hope, and I am surely aware for these methods and rule through the curriculum development need to be improvised and hopefully can be brought my past, current, and future learners on their life reference frame to evaluate their effectiveness, efficiency, and responsibility. An Effectiveness, like as minimum as possible the use of bricks on building the project in LEGO Bricks or on building our movement to checkmate our opponent in the chess. Either an efficiency like as efficient as possible in our LEGO Bricks project building or as efficient as we make our strategy to end the game of international chess with a great result, therefore what we build, design, create and be efficiently useable or inspire to the real-life application. In turn, as responsible as the international game of chess has taught us, think before we move our tokens and be sure we have our responsibility to our token to win the game fairly and squarely, in the process of we enjoyed the beauty of creation from the final product of LEGO Bricks or the game.
Now, with all of those international chess games and LEGO Bricks examples, then I also hope during their learning in Mathematics and Physics can be helpful in their real life, as been mentioned by Schiro (2013) “people contain their capabilities for growth, are the agents who must actualize their own capabilities, and are essentially good in nature”.
Even though in the school, the curriculum is mostly designed by the big educational institution like Cambridge, College Board, IB, but school practicians are more responsible to serve topics, and helping all the school stakeholders to serve a better education and schooling. As consequence to become a better educator that can provide better education, then most of the schools I worked will be providing a proper meeting for each department by having a meeting in order to discuss and attain the goals of our educational program, and educational training for all the stakeholders. As we know the involvement of all stakeholders, especially individuals who are directly involved in student instruction, is a vital piece in successful curriculum development and revision. Therefore, a clean and clear schedule arrangement that happens within a year of the Gregorian calendar, then only up to 9 months effectiveness for the teaching-learning, and 2 months efficiency for a school to provide proper training for each of the stakeholders, as we know learning objectives, together with activities, should be grouped and sequence (Franklin Bobbit, 1956).
Furthermore, to support myself, I have arranged a weekly social activity to improvise, and update the project status and get general feedback. And that, by each summer during the school inactiveness until the school activeness period, I often did gather from my readings and writings, that I should share it with whoever wants to cooperate and join with my social activities for the remote areas. This was infinite energy of human enthusiasm and the interaction of their exploration to share their thought with limited materials in the remote area and to become effectively efficient on their learning throughout the readings and writings that I have gathered, even though there is a difficulty existed in some way.
Corresponding to what we have seen, my curriculum journey is a story of combining Richard P. Feynmann Techniques on Learning with imagine the unimagine during the game of International Chess and implementation of LEGO Bricks to become the most helpful syllabus that seems general in mathematics and physics into models that my students can learn as well as can be helpful in their real-life educational environment.
In practice, that I will admit it, even though some school leaders may not like it in the beginning, but I quite often modify any element of the curriculum whenever I think this can make a learner have a better experience. Including the adjustment of the curriculum to make my learner learn better on Mathematics and Physics, that we know not many of them will even remember but, I hope they can remember the process that they gain, like Linda Albert (1996) mentioned in our ending to let everyone feel about they learn something even though they don’t remember anything, and importantly the role of teachers in the curriculum process is to help students develop an engaged relationship with the content (Dr. Kelly S. Meier, 2018).
Moreover, by the end of the academic year, I always like to recall and gather all the information as much as detail and what happened during all of this time and read my former learner’s opinions, and suggestions throughout their stories on what they think, feel, and truly learn from my courses, and they could happily be proud of.
By counting to this point, that was the beginning, and I realized that true epic learning would be of greater value, but such truly epic learning I could introduce through AT.LS trial-and-error methods. In addition, like playing the international game of chess or building the project of LEGO Brick’s creativity, it is only possible if we do not know much about it, so we cannot see our faults. The faults will become apparent later, but after the process is strong enough to help us know in the level of understanding. So, I was held to this idea, despite all of the difficulties, by my self-reflection that I kept implementing into my teaching-learning in order to build the most effective and efficient what we called now as development curriculum as to how we can see from the non-found limitation movement in the international game of chess, or the connections among the bricks of LEGO bricks.
Thus, Alfred L. Hall mentioned continuity and interaction between the learner and what is learned are essential, so it became clear that there was the possibility that if we assume all actions are via half-advanced and half-hinder solutions of all sources are surrounded by information that absorbs the social activities, which is the environment of how they survive conveniently, then we could account for this for success, since up to nearly 68% of my total numbers of student that I have taught and I have been keeping contact on their progress. Like the progress, on how my former learners have shown me throughout our conversation and throughout their social media on how they become to what they were a desire to become while they were studying. An example, like some of my students that currently in Europe and become models, IT Engineers, or some of my students that currently in Australia and succeeded to become chefs, and even get nominated in 2016 for his idea of culinary food. And this is the fact that the process in delivering and guiding via half-advance and half-hinder has brought my learning to experience the uniqueness of learning (John Dewey, 1952), with meant that could be more active and efficient via cooperation all the stakeholders on giving. Because, it turns out, of course, that we can reinstate fields if we wish to, but we have to keep track of the field produced by each learner and stakeholder in education carefully.
On the other hand, as much as we know about Richard P. Feynman from the website of his work, or we know about International Chess, and LEGO Bricks, the obstacle will remain there as far as humans keep learning. Which in my teaching, not only conceptual idea that I have given can become a challenge for a high schooler to accept the college-level knowledge, but they have to know with the application to the questions, moreover their trial-and-error to some experiments, with ending of their personal summary for all of that progress. The application to the question that not only coming from ordinary test paper but more like a metaphor explanation throughout their point of interest with the learning that they have learned, either development of a philosophical idea or an actual implementation. Like in the process of solving a Physics problem, then we have to gather a piece of information about what kind of data that we have, then which equation can be fit with the data that we have, in order to help us find what we are looking on from the question, and finally before we write our summary then we implementing that question to some experiment to finding our trial-and-error as we want to comparing from our theory learning, application solving question problem, and experiment, are they match or not, since we know it doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, if it doesn’t agree with experiment, then it’s wrong (Richard P. Fyenmann, 1988).
Lastly, in the summary, that we know about there is a goal and approach that we want to achieve as much as one in education. The achievement like Franklin Bobbit (1956), said, curriculum as a science that emphasizes the needs of the students, and Carl (200), said the curriculum development team has to consider the teacher as part of the environment that affects curriculum. Now, we know it, in order for the Curriculum to become a Theory that can be accepted by the community, then the design of the curriculum should be matched with the implementation that not only for what learners are supposed to learn but why they learn and how it will become a benefit to their community in terms like social life, especially their environment. Along the year we have seen many brilliant men and women inventing such stuff but less of them inventing stuff that can help us to understand to take care of our Mother Earth instead of just suggesting only from being hurt in each of the years. So, the curriculum that to keep humanity on keep on running as the track should not only focus on the subject matter, but also help teachers on understanding the connection between one and another subject, therefore they can guide their learners to not only can passing the standard examination but to become a human that can live with joy, peace, hope, and love to a better of tomorrow.
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