Engage genuinely with the curriculum
Secondary school and tertiary teachers often have a love for a particular subject or area of research that they are passionate about and want to share with others. For Early Childhood and Primary School educators, this may not be so much the case – although most people will have a favourite, such as Maths or Art.
However, teachers of younger children need to engage with the whole curriculum and not just know its contents, but find ways to connect with it themselves in meaningful ways and be able to transmit the key ideas in an interesting and effective way.
When we teach children, we want them to learn, not just be passive recipients of information we may present. If teachers do not engage authentically with the curriculum they deliver, it will be much harder to:
- See possibilities for connecting knowledge and ideas to other parts of the curriculum or previous learning
- Predict and prepare for some of the questions students might ask – or even just encourage their questions
- Discriminate between essential and peripheral elements of the concepts or information
- Know what “comes next”
- Generate lots of ideas for ways in which the children could learn what they need to
- Evaluate the children’s learning
- You will probably agree that all of the above contribute to effective teaching. Are you able to think of any other limitations that a lack of engagement with the curriculum might cause?