MY ROLE AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

Jun 15 2017

MY ROLE AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

As an educational consultant I specialize in developing frameworks and planners. My role is to make your ideal learning environment happen by designing the frameworks and planners that meet your school’s needs. When I take on a job, I come as a blank slate with no preconceived ideas about how you should run your school. It is your school, and you know your staff, your clientele, and your students. Most importantly, you know your vision, your philosophy and your values. My job is to make your vision a reality, but to do this I must first understand your mission, your philosophy, your curriculums, and the strengths and weaknesses of your school. What does your ideal place of learning look like? How should the classrooms be set up? How tightly should all of the curriculums be linked? What are your expectations of your staff? 

1. DESIGNING A CUSTOMIZED FRAMEWORK

The process of creating a customized framework begins once your vision is clear to me. I begin to create and map out a framework: I put all the pieces of the puzzle together and develop a customized framework, and this becomes the foundation of your school. Here are three samples of different frameworks I have designed – each one was tailored to meet a specific vision. 

a)  The Language Framework

The framework below was designed to bring language to the forefront of all subjects – all the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) milepost planners end with a list of essential vocabulary/grammar, and the EAL (English as an Additional Language) /MFL (Modern Foreign Language) departments plan their lessons on this basis. The vision of the Netherlands Inter-community School was to foster cross-stream planning between the Dutch and English streams, to encourage mainstream teachers to link language and math objectives to the IPC as much as possible, and to link the EAL, MFL departments and other specialist subjects to the IPC. The goal was a cohesive and unified school; the framework accomplished this by ensuring that all the subjects were tightly linked and that teachers across both streams in all departments moved in unison. 

 

bThe Transitional Framework  

The Transitional Framework was designed to prepare students from Papua, Indonesia to transition from high school to an American or English-speaking university after completing a 14-week transitional program. The Transitional Framework is a universal program that non-English speaking high school graduates hoping to study in an English-speaking post secondary institution can follow. The goals of the program are to: 

·        Help the students get their academics up to par – computers, math and communication skills.

·        Teach American culture & customs.

·        Teach life and survival skills.

·        Improve the students’ academic and conversational English skills. 

·        Teach library & research skills 

The Transitional Framework, below, gives professors and teachers a bird’s eye view of all the curriculums from the center of the flower. Week by week the subjects that will be covered in the academic courses taught in Bahasa Indonesia (algebra, computers, communication, and American studies) are arranged around the center of the flower, and their curriculum topics are mapped out to link to each other as much as possible. The English teachers form the stem and plan their English conversational/academic courses based on the center of the flower and the petals. This tightly linked framework allows professors to maximize learning in a short time frame and helps students take in as much information as possible in a cohesive manner, solidifying their learning. 

cThe Early Years Framework

I designed this framework to help teachers follow the thinking behind the Reggio Emilia philosophy and to link to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) milestones. There are three important elements to the Reggio Emilia teaching approach: The child is at the center, the adult is the guide, and the environment is the third teacher. Also, importance is placed on removing time limits to allow for deeper learning. The framework below was designed to incorporate all of these elements, allowing fluidity in the planning.  A community environment is fostered in the whole school as connections are made between mainstream and specialist teachers. 

 

2. DESIGNING THE INDIVIDUALIZED PLANNERS

After the framework is mapped out, the next step is to design individualized and customized planners. Some of the factors that influence the design of the planners include:

·        Whether the teacher is a mainstream teacher, specialist, support staff…

·        Are there any split classes?

·        School values

·        Classroom set-up

3. PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING

Once the framework and planners are in place they need to be implemented; the implementation process involves PD (Professional Development) for the whole school and training for each department, as well as individual support for the teachers who need it. 

4. YEARLY PLANNER REVISIONS

Although the framework will remain constant as long as the vision and philosophy of the school remain the same, planners need to be reviewed on a yearly basis. Have the classroom situations changed? Have new specialty areas been included? What are the ways your staff can realize a deeper understanding of the framework and planners?

What’s your vision for your school? What is your ideal learning environment? With the right framework and planners in place anything is possible!