Research is also showing that the adolescent’s brain is wired to connect with others and contribute to society. When young people give back to others as they do in Deep Learning, they are using their energy to do good in the world and this changes their brains in terms of the way they think, act and interact with others. The Deep Learning experiences young people have builds up their neural pathways–the networks of connections. What they don’t use, they lose. When kids are activated by the 6 Global Competencies, their brains develop very differently than students who are “sitting and getting” content that is irrelevant to their life. (Engage Secondary Students Because the Future Depends On It, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, p3)
Re-envisaging Year 9 Electives 2022
At St Columba our vision is to transform the lives of our students by offering educational opportunities so they will have lives of purpose, service and engagement.
Our classroom practices are aligned to this goal through what we call Deep Learning. At the heart of Deep Learning is the development of the dispositions of the 6Cs in each child – character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. Our aim is to provide classroom learning experiences that are rich and meaningful, whereby students gain high level academic skills as well as explicitly seeing the development of these valuable dispositions in themselves.
Creating conditions for Deep Learning is an essential part of our work. Our staff have been exploring their teaching practices in this area and we are now facilitating structures that provide further opportunities for students to experience this rich learning.
Our Year 9 electives are one of our next steps in this endeavour. From 2022 our electives will be restructured into semester-long Deep Learning courses. Each course will have as its focus a disposition and will provide experiences to develop this.
Students will be able to pursue interests by choosing a variety of semester-long courses. As always, a student’s interests and motivation should provide the basis for subject selections. Students with a passion and an interest are encouraged to choose electives in that area in a continuous pattern of study over two years. They may, however, make use of other elective lines to try some other offerings and maybe step out of their comfort zone. By exploring choices it is envisaged that students will develop a range of skills in the 6C dispositions and they may also find they unlock a new passion. Deep engagement in learning experiences will see our students well equipped to thrive in their future education and beyond.
Further information about elective subjects will be made available to families on our Year 9 2022 subject information night to be held in Term 3 on Tuesday 27th July.
We are excited to be preparing your child for a future in which they are prepared to thrive and thank you for your support of our educational program.
Director Teaching and Learning
Further Reading: Engage Secondary Students Because the Future Depends On It