Yesterday, I went to a workshop organized by the TDSB on the new grade 11 and 12 English College prep programs. It was lead by instructional leaders Valerie Fraser and Rachel Cook, held at The Highbrook Learning Centre.
The morning session focussed on the new curriculum documents themselves, and what the highlights are from each of the four strands: Oral & Listening, Lit. Studies & Reading, Writing and Media Literacy. The important point gathered from this activity is that the new curriculum is a lot more flexible as far as choice of texts and types of assignments are concerned. The stress now is on how the material is taught, the delivery. Simply, the stress is on skills building to improve literacy. The skills that the new curriculum targets as being important are the listening skills and the media literacy skills. How do we teach this? The answer is using metacognitive strategies. We teach students how to listen by making them aware of how they listen. This goes with writing, reading and media literacy as well.
The afternoon session focussed on metacognition and how it can be used in the classroom to enhance students' skills acquisition. Namely, we could use anticipation guides before, during and after reading or listening to text.
Does this make me feel more knowledgeable about the 12C English course? Nope. I feel like I want to start prepping it right away.