Dr. Peter Duckett
Dear Bayan School Community Members,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 academic year. I am excited to begin the year and we all look forward to seeing you on campus again. I’d like to take this opportunity to outline some of the major curricular initiatives that the school will be working on.
UDL, AEA, MSA, BQA
This year the school is poised to engage in strategic actions guided by a variety of mechanisms including Middle States Accreditation (MSA), the Bahrain Quality Assurance, and existing Bahrain Bayan School policies and procedures. Within the MSA protocols the school has identified three student performance objectives; Arabic Literacy, English Literacy, and Mathematics. Within these objectives there is an intention to embed Additional Educational Assistance (AEA). In support of these objectives we will begin to explore applications of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in unit and lesson planning so that they more strongly encompass students’ interests, strengths, and needs. This initiative will bring inclusive changes that will seek students’ opinions, offer them choices, and make learning feel even more relevant. It will also increase access to assistive technologies such as text-to-speech, speech-to-text, audiobooks, or other adjusted formatting. Additionally, it should offer students options for showing what they know through a variety of formats, such as poster presentations, video recordings, graphic organizers, product designs, or other real world applications.
This year the Curriculum Committee, comprised of subject leaders from the four sections of the school, will be engaged not only in exploring applications of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) but also a systematic and intentional review of the vertical alignment of curriculum from kindergarten through grade 12. The school’s curriculum planning software, ATLAS, will allow each subject team to examine the mapped curriculum for redundancies, gaps, and consistency.
We are currently in communication with Mid-Central Regional Educational Laboratory (MCREL) to support all curricular areas in working with Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK). Here’s a brief explanation of this model taken from www.edutopia.org :
CALCULATING COGNITIVE DEPTH
Depth of Knowledge (DoK) categorizes tasks according to the complexity of thinking required for students to successfully complete them.
Level 1. Recall and Reproduction: Tasks at this level require recall of facts or rote application of simple procedures. The task does not require any cognitive effort beyond remembering the right response or formula. Copying, computing, defining, and recognizing are typical Level 1 tasks.
Level 2. Skills and Concepts: At this level, a student must make some decisions about his or her approach. Tasks with more than one mental step, such as comparing, organizing, summarizing, predicting, and estimating, are usually Level 2.
Level 3. Strategic Thinking: At this level of complexity, students must use planning and evidence, and thinking is more abstract. A task with multiple valid responses, where students must justify their choices, would be Level 3. Examples include solving non-routine problems, designing an experiment, or analyzing characteristics of a genre.
Level 4. Extended Thinking: Level 4 tasks require the most complex cognitive effort. Students synthesize information from multiple sources, often over an extended period of time, or transfer knowledge from one domain to solve problems in another. Designing a survey and interpreting the results, analyzing multiple texts by to extract themes, or writing an original myth in an ancient style would all be examples of Level 4.
Dr. Peter Duckett
Coordinator of Curriculum and Professional Learning