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End of week video

Watch the course educators discuss the highlights from this week's learning.

This week, you learned more about the Skills Builder framework, where it comes from and how it can be practically applied to teach smaller steps of the core skills.

You have also been introduced to the six principles of teaching core skills.

Next week, we’ll be thinking a lot more about these principles and in particular the principle of ‘Measure it’.

In the video on this step, Sandra discusses the highlights from this week. She says:

First, I’d like to say that it’s been great to see the high level of engagement in the discussions and in the comments sections this week. It’s been really interesting to read about your different experiences and ideas.
This week we’ve been looking at the Skills Builder framework itself and where it came from. We also started to examine how the skills can be broken down into smaller steps.
You started by looking at the Skills builder framework. Jonah told you about some benefits of this, for example, using the steps as learning objectives, to see students’ progress and to allow students to share skills and communicate their ideas effectively. And of course, it allows students to build skills to use outside the classroom. We asked if you could see any other benefits and got some great responses. Lydia Akullu pointed out that the skills builder approach is holistic and so looks at other achievements, not just grades, and Rasha Ashkar likes the framework because it’s a useful scaffolding of the skills, making them clear for both the learner and the teacher.
This was followed by how to teach the steps of a skill. The article in 2.5 introduced step one in teaching teamwork, and looked at the building blocks of this initial step. You considered some questions that a teacher could use to check students understanding of different behaviours. It was interesting to see that many of you answered the questions with great detail and accuracy, but do you think your students could give the same detailed responses? The next video gave some examples of how you could use these questions with your students.
In the next section, you examined how to put the framework into action and how to teach a step from creativity and then from problem solving. Jonah made some suggestions for creativity, like using role-play and drama, character reflection or creating diagrams. Overwhelmingly, in the comments, role play was the most popular choice. Many of you have used this before, and find it useful for many reasons, such as developing communication skills and allowing students use their imagination. In 2.9, you considered how you might teach one of the skill steps in your own context, and there were some interesting and creative ideas here. With so many teachers from different countries and backgrounds, it’s worth spending some time in this discussion looking at the different suggestions.
Finally, you were introduced to the six principles of teaching and assessing the core skills. You discussed the challenges that you might face applying these principles. There were many common themes in this discussion, such as differences between students’ progress, learning pace and motivation. Large classes and time constraints were also a big issue, and one of the main problems for many of you is the potential limitations set by the school curriculum and a focus on academic results. For example, Denis Shumbusha says that most of the schools in his country follow a knowledge-based curriculum which is focuses on passing exams. This mirrored the experience of many of you, and these issues were also reflected in the final discussion of this section, which looked at the potential challenges of implementing these individual principles. Hopefully the course will give you some ideas of how you can integrate these skills into your curriculum, however tricky it might be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the course content this week. In week 3 we’ll be thinking a lot more about these principles and in particular the fourth principle of ‘Measure it’. I look forward to seeing you there.

Comments mentioned in the video

Lydia Akullu

Rasha Ashkar

Denis Shumbusha

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Teaching and Assessing Core Skills

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