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Written Curriculum Step 10: Reflection

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

The final part of the unit planning process is reflection. This can involve both the teachers and students and can be done individually or collaboratively, at different points of the teaching of the unit: before, during, and after. Meaningful reflection allows for units to be revised, teaching practice to be improved and students to better direct their learning. Below are the general outlines for the reflection process; more specific guiding questions can be found in From Principles into Practice. A unit plan example can be seen here, showing the inquiry, action, and reflection stages in completion - further examples can be found on the programme resource centre on MyIB.

Before the unit, reflection can aid the planning process. Explain why the selected concepts and context were chosen. Describe which aspects of the unit you think will appeal to the students. Reflect on the resources you have available (physical, digital, people, etc.) and how they could be used. Think about what knowledge the students should have coming into the unit. Identify how the unit considers other aspects of the IB ethos - international mindedness, learner profile, interdisciplinary, service as action, etc.

During the unit, reflection should be ongoing to inform the direction of learning. Identify any challenges faced and reflect on what needs to happen moving forward and what should be adapted next time. Compare resources and learning experiences to decide which were useful and engaged the students. If students asked questions, include this and maybe some details about how they could be addressed in the unit. Also, reflect on the differentiation and identify if students were appropriately supported and challenged. If the order of l

After the unit, reflection aids the revision of the unit for next time. Now you will have data from the summative assessment and maybe a wider range of students’ reflections to draw from. Use this to evaluate how well objectives were met and which learning experiences were most effective. Perhaps the lesson sequence should be adapted, or more time should be spent developing an ATL skill. If students weren’t successful in the assessment, analyse what aspect of the unit could be tweaked to better support - differentiation, formative assessments, collaborating with other subject groups, etc.

Essentially, each year the teaching and learning of the unit should improve based on what was documented - go beyond just describing what was done or what could be tried next time. Instead, evaluate why certain implementations had/will have a positive effect. Make sure your reflections are clear as other teachers will need to understand it, potentially even after you have left the school.

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