Expanding the Student Impact
The considerations of my localised Singapore implantation aside, the efficacy of VanTassel-Baska et al.’s (2002) findings repeatedly surface. If we have seen how students across the spectrums have benefitted, why can we not bring these strategies to more students? Techniques and strategies are often not specific to any one demographic and concept-based curriculum certainly is no exception. Why are we not bringing some of these strategies that have worked for the high-ability students (and more) to others?
The Professional Community
With the challenges I faced in implementation, how much support did I receive and how much professional development and mentoring did I need to see this through? How do we create a community of practitioners who have the similar beliefs and can come together to provide both the professional and psychological support for the continued thrust to gain momentum and fruition? Perhaps the question should not be how we might do this but how we must go about setting the professional communities up. There would be no sustainability or any long-term systemic continuity.
Colleagues will come and go and roles within organisations change. How can there be continued support and help to sustain the interest levels amongst colleagues who are navigating the daily demands of the classroom? How much does a programme depend on individual beliefs and competencies vis-a-vis a systemic and institution-wide adoption for sustainability? Without a critical mass of expertise within a supportive political and administrative climate, truly calibrated and systemic evolution will be hard to come by. In Erickson’s (2006) succinct crispness:
Curriculum and instruction models that set up a synergistic interplay between the factual and conceptual levels of thinking are critical to intellectual development. The sophistication of the intellectual dance across synaptic divides in the brain determines the quality of the performance. As educators, we are responsible for the design of the dance.