Media Release - New online resource overcomes invisible ‘elephant’ in the classroom

A game-changing online curriculum resource that raises the bar on the quality of teaching, learning and student engagement in Australian primary schools is being launched in Melbourne today. The first education resource of its kind in the world, MAPPEN has taken 4½ years and thousands of hours of expert authorship to develop. Its 32 exemplary, fully resourced curriculum units have been crafted based on field-testing and feedback from over 1500 Australian educators across 50 schools.

Co-authors Karen Green and Amanda McCallum, of Grossard Education, designed MAPPEN to solve one of the biggest dilemmas facing school leaders and teachers – how to find the time to plan and write a comprehensive, fully resourced curriculum that meets mandated standards and students’ needs.

Ms Green said the current system-wide practice of individual teachers having to interpret government curriculum guidelines and develop their own lesson plans, was contributing to an alarming inconsistency in the quality in teaching and learning within schools.

“After years of consultancy work in schools to train teachers how to write better curriculum content, I started to feel a bit like a Band-Aid that comes off in the bath,” said Ms Green, a former senior teacher who is also recognised as a leading specialist in curriculum development, teaching practice and programs for gifted children. Ms Green added “I’d leave the school knowing that nothing much was likely to change for those teachers or their students once real-world pressures came into play.

“Teachers simply don’t have the time or specialist knowledge to write consistently high-quality content for their classroom teaching, let alone continually update it to keep pace with changing curriculum guidelines. This is the invisible ‘elephant’ in our classrooms,” Ms Green said. “So we decided the most practical solution – one that would really stick – was to write the detailed curriculum content for them.”

The resulting online resource, MAPPEN, is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and will receive the endorsement of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) when President Dennis Yarrington addresses today’s launch.

“MAPPEN, quite simply, is the long-awaited game changer,” Mr Yarrington said. “This new resource has the potential to raise the bar for all teachers within a school and for all Australian primary schools.”

“Principals in schools using MAPPEN across Foundation through to Year 6 can be confident that the most consistent, rich and engaging curriculum in the nation is being delivered in every classroom,” he said.

MAPPEN is already receiving rave reviews from educational leaders, teachers and their students. Katie Penhalluriack, a leading teacher of curriculum at Alexandra Primary School, in rural Victoria, summed it up this way: “In an ideal world, every school would be using MAPPEN. If that were to happen, without any major effort the quality of teaching and learning would be raised immediately, across the entire education system.”

Deborah Patterson, Principal at one of Victoria’s largest primary schools, Mill Park Heights, said: “MAPPEN ticks all the boxes for me as a principal. It’s a rigorous, tight and inclusive curriculum that meets the needs of our 1000 students beyond anything I’ve experienced before. Using MAPPEN means you can no longer ‘go under the radar’ as a teacher. It raises the bar for everyone.”

The curriculum provided in MAPPEN goes beyond pure literacy and numeracy to instil the deeper thinking and learning skills children need to thrive in today’s society and the workforce of the future.

It shifts classroom teaching from delivering content around themes – for example, about outer space, dinosaurs, water – to teaching around eight deep concepts relevant to living in today’s society: Community, Sustainability, Social Justice, Creativity, Identity, Change, Necessity and Curiosity.

“Students being taught through MAPPEN learn the kinds of essential skills employers are crying out for nowadays,” said Ms Green. “Skills such as critical and creative thinking, how to collaborate with others, problem solving, self awareness and reflection, and how to express concepts visually and verbally.”

A unique feature of MAPPEN is that it embeds contextual professional learning for teachers while they teach. It effectively improves what and how they teach, while they teach.

This new online teaching and learning resource is available 24/7 and is being made available to all teachers for just $1 a day.

About Grossard Education

Grossard Education is a small Melbourne based education business led by educational consultants Karen Green and Amanda McCallum along with teacher Mark Ritterman and web developer Danny Ritterman.

MAPPEN will be launched on Wednesday 5 August at CQ Functions, 113 Queen Street, Melbourne from 5.006.30pm.

Media contact and resources:

INTERVIEWS To arrange interviews with the authors and representatives from schools using MAPPEN, contact Sue Vittori: 0421 612 164 / sue@vittoricommunications.com

FACT SHEET A detailed media fact sheet and further examples of teacher feedback are available on request.

PHOTOGRAPHS Quality images can be supplied of Karen and Amanda.

WEBSITE http://getmappen.com/info/

MediaMark Ritterman