Friday, May 31, 2013

Are you becoming an increasingly effective communicator?

Isn`t that the question we want to be asking ourselves? Isn`t it  a question we want our students to be asking themselves?

I have been given the opportunity to work with a local group of educators to help design a communication competency continuum that will be a part of BCs new curriculum. Sharon Joerski is the consultant hired by the Ministry who`s been bringing us together and bringing together our ideas regarding communication competency .

So far we have brought a few samples of student work and have been pulling out the major themes and shifts from pre-K to grade 12. Our goal over the next few months is to identify the major elements in communication competency, and illustrate each of them with examples of student work. Once we have improved our definition of the elements of communication we can begin to more clearly describe levels of proficiency in each of the elements.

The model that`s been proposed to us is of a continuum presented in a series of concentric circles, with  elements extending from the inner circle toward the outer rings. A tree metaphor has been suggested too as an appropriate one in that additional ``rings`` can always been added as a learner improves their communication skills. This graphic would describe communication with a number of I can statements. The statements would link to examples of student work as well as resources for classroom teachers.  

As I look at the work my students are doing, and engage in professional conversations like these regarding communication, I feel more strongly then ever that our new curriculum needs to be focused on competencies that will allow today's learners to reach their full potential in tomorrow's workplaces. So as we seek to improve communication in the 21st century I am confident we are on the right track! 

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