3 Simple Steps to Backwards Mapping

Backwards mapping, aka backwards design or backwards planning is not new in education and I sure hope you use it. As a basic definition backwards mapping is 

The process of creating lessons and learning activities by beginning with the end in mind (learning goals and objectives) before creating learning activities that are designe to achieve the learning goals. - Dan

It can be hard at times to work out exactly how to do this, but I have a secret, I have found a simple 3-step process that will help you design lessons or units of work that work. ie they enable students to achieve the goals you set for them.


Check out the online webinar series on unit design for PDHPE


Step 1 - Set the Goals

No surprises for guessing where you have to start. Set the learning goals for your students. These can be goals for the whole unit or goals for the lesson. The trick is to make sure you don't have too many of them, 1-3 is plenty. Of course, these learning goals are...

Continue Reading...

What does NESA's announcement mean for PDHPE teachers?

This morning I woke up to read the NESA announcement about the results of the HSC review for our state going forward. In the announcement, Sarah Mitchell has said our curriculum will continue to be updated in terms of content as well as some larger more general changes to the HSC. Let's start with the general changes.

Key changes moving forward

VET will count towards an ATAR

NSW education is getting rid of the category A and B system so VET courses can contribute to a student’s ATAR from 2025. This will mean subjects such as a Certificate II in Sports Coaching or Sport and Recreation will be included and allow students to not just complete their HSC but also receive an ATAR.

More online HSC exams

NESA is also going to begin putting more HSC exams online. This is likely to be a slower process as they test subject areas to work out which exams work well this way and which still need to be done on paper. This may mean PDHPE exams move into the online...

Continue Reading...

You Should Never Reflect on Practice

One thing that drives me crazy is when a teacher reflects on their practice. I mean we are all told we should reflect on our practice. The goal is obviously to improve, but I'm going to tell you why you should never reflect on your practice and tell you what I think you should do instead.

Reason 1 - Reflecting on Practice is Shallow

Whenever I see reflections teachers have written it is normally in response to 2 questions:

  1. What worked well?
  2. What didn't?

And that is it. I then see teachers think back to their lessons and make comments like, "the students really enjoyed the practical lesson on cultural activities" or "the students didn't seem to like having to present to the class". This type of reflection is super shallow and really will not lead to great improvements in your teaching or your students' learning.

Reason 2 - Reflecting on Practice is Subjective

You can see in my 2 example statements above just how subjective things can be, the word "seem" comes in...

Continue Reading...

What is critical inquiry and why should we use it?

Have you ever seen the words critical and inquiry together as a type of approach for teaching and learning? I don't think I have actually seen it anywhere other than my own stuff, but it came together for me one day as I was reading through the stage 6 syllabus (yes, just reading it from start to finish, I'm like that).

You see at the time I had also been engaging with a couple of other educators and the work they were doing. One was Michael Anderson from Sydney Uni.2 His work is all on the 21st-century skills of creativity, critical reflection, communication, and collaboration. The other was Trevor MacKenzie from Canada who specialises in Inquiry-Based Learning.3

I had read their books and interviewed them both on my podcast and as I read the syllabus I began to think it was designed for a combination of their approaches as well as a few other things I really enjoyed about project-based learning.

1. What is critical inquiry?

Critical inquiry is simply bringing together two great...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.