The BIS curriculum focuses progressively on a holistic view of the child as the centre of the learning experience. This is a very complex process and has had over forty years or innovative and cutting edge theory explored at our school for us to develop the rich and exciting curriculum that we have now. We do this by combining a strong philosophical core with a series of key process of learning that all staff are trained with.
This training continues on a fortnightly basis with practice and discussion groups for all teaching staff to attend. This focus on development is a key part of what makes BIS one of the few Integral Education Schools in the world.
What is an Integral School?
Simply put it means we use Integral Philosophy as the core of our values and daily experience at the school. Integral Philosophy (Wilber, 2000) draws together a variety of human development models into one coherent system. Integral acknowledges the thousands of researchers and developers who’s theories have been coordinated into one model.
“What if we took literally everything that all the various cultures have to tell us about human potential – about spiritual growth, psychological growth, and social growth – and put it all on the table? What if we attempted to find the essential keys to human growth based on the sum total of human knowledge now open to us? What if we attempted, based on extensive cross-cultural study, to use all of the world’s great traditions to create a composite map, an all-inclusive or integral map that included the best elements of them all. “ (Ken Wilber)
Every experience of life travels through these four quadrants. Each of these quadrants reflects core curriculum content. They are specified in conceptual terms within the quadrants on the diagram below.
The four quadrants interact through every experience we have. This forms the structural core to our curriculum content:
Self Study – (UL and UR)
This part of our curriculum is about developing and nurturing the individual’s experience through a range of strategies
*Self Direction skills, managing time, passions, self assessment, questioning and autonomy
*Working with a combination of critical thinking and intuition to develop ideas and creativity into a reality
*Learning how to talk about and manage feelings and needs (Non Violent Communication)
*Developing body control and mindfulness through meditation, relaxation, yoga and jujitsu
*Learning core breathing practices and how to work with our body to achieve personal physical goals
*Learning about how you like to learn and how to improve your effectiveness to learn
Group and Community Study (LR)
Learning how to work with others, communicate effectively, develop rules that work for the whole community, run meetings, understand your role as a member of the civic body. This part of our curriculum is all about connecting successfully with others.
*Explicit group work training, including cooperative group work
*Attending and running Whole School Meetings
*Experiencing the role of leaders and developing skills to be a leader
*Developing a clear understanding of how self management helps us connect with others
*Learning how to understand the feelings and needs of others
*Learning about democratic process
*Taking on classroom and community jobs
*Learning how to work within and develop rules and consequences and resolve conflicts through conflict resolution training in the older years.
Systems Skills and Knowledge
The Australian Curriculum is explored and mastered through this part of our curriculum. We study the systems of the world around us and learn how to work with them successfully.
*English: Writing (spelling, grammar) reading and listening, handwriting
*Maths: Number, measurement, algebra, chance and data, space
*Science: Materials, Energy, Living Things, Earth and Space
*Technology and ICT
*History and Geography: Local and national focus to global
*Arts: Visual, Dance, Drama and Design.
*HPE: Health studies and physical skills
How do these come together?
Our tripartite curriculum draws all three facets together so that whilst one section may be the focus of the learning the other two parts of the curriculum are still present as Curriculum Integration is key to our school:
For Example: Learning maths involves self study to access memory and work with your learning style whilst considering the needs of the group for silence or discussion to complete the task.
We also organise our daily experience to highlight these parts of the curriculum
Morning Meeting – Group skills and self study
Morning Skills Lab – Honing our self understanding to best master the skills of literacy and numeracy, maths and English. A range of teaching strategies and processes are used but primarily focussed on mastering learning and curriculum compacting. Learning is very tailored n this section and focussed on helping each child better and master their skills.
Middle Session – Project Lab – Using the Systems section and Community section of the curriculum students use varying forms of Renzulli’s Enrichment model for project learning to utilise their own passions and interests whilst learning about a focus topic. Se projects are the focus of presentation night at the end of term. The Friday session is the OMNI project, which is chosen by each child to reflect their interests.
Afternoon Session – Study of Self – Using the Self section of our curriculum students will learn explicit breathing/relaxation and mindfulness strategies as well as skills in unlocking their creativity.
For more information on any of these approaches please peruse our reading list below or email our Principal Jen with any questions.
BIS Philosophy and Process of Learning Suggested Reading List
Bellanca, J., & Fogarty, R. Blueprints for Thinking in the Cooperative Classroom.
Bloom, B. (1994). Reflections on the development and use of the taxonomy.Bloom’s taxonomy: A forty-year retrospective. In K. J. Rehage, L. W. Anderson, & L. A. Sosniak, Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (p. 92). Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education.
Clark, B. (1968). Optimizing Learning: The Integrative Education Model in the Classroom. Merrill.
Dawkins, B. U., Kottkamp, R. B., & Johnston, C. A. (2010). Intentional Teaching. USA: Corwin.
Dea, W. (. (2011). Igniting Brilliance: Integral Education for the 21st Century. USA: Integral.
Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. Macmillan.
Esbjorn-Hargens, S. (2009). An All-Inclusive Framework for the 21st Century. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from Integral Life: http://integrallife.com/integral-post/overview-integral-theory
Fleming, D., & Baume, D. (Issue 7.4, Nov. 2006). Learning Styles Again: VARKing up the right tree! Educational Developements SEDA , p 4-7.
Fleming, N. &. (1992). Not Another Learning Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection. To Improve the Academy, 11 , 137-155.
Fowler, J. (1981). Stages of Faith . New York: Harper Collins.
Gardner, H. (2011). Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books.
Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Glasser, W. (1986). Control Theory in the Classroom. USA: Perennial.
Glasser, W. (1975). Schools Without Failure. New York: Perrennial Library.
Goleman, D. (2011). The Brain and Emotional Intelligence : New Insights. USA: E Book.
Gruber, J. (n.d.). What-is-integral-education? Retrieved January 18, 2013, from Next Step Integral: http://nextstepintegral.org/branches/education/what-is-integral-education
Holt, J. (1975). How Children Learn. London: Pelican.
Ken, W. (2005). http://www.kenwilber.com/Writings/. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from Kenwilber.com: http://www.kenwilber.com/Writings/PDF/IntroductiontotheIntegralApproach_GENERAL_2005_NN.pdf
Kohlberg, L., & Charles Levine, A. H. (1983). Moral stages : a current formulation and a response to critics. . Basel, NY: Karger.
Lipman, M. (1991; 2nd edition, 2003). Thinking in Education . New York: Cambridge University Press.
Loevinger, J. (1998). Tehcnical foundations for measuring ego development. New Jersey: Laurence Earlbaus Associated.
Neill, A. S. (1993). Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood. St Martin’s Press.
O’Doherty, B. (2011, December 29). Integral Theory. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from Brodoland: http://brodoland.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/integral-theory/
Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1997). The schoolwide enrichment model: A how-to guide for educational excellence. Mansfield Center: Creative Learning Press.
Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become. (1st ed.). Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merill.
Rogers, K. B. (2002). Re-forming Gifted Education. United States: Great Potential Press.
Rosenberg, M. B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. USA: Puddledancer Press.
Skager, R. (1979). Self-directed learning and schooling: Identifying pertinent theories and illustrative research. International Review of Education , 517-543.
Turiel, E. (1983). The Development of Social Knowledge: Morality & Convention. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wilber, K. (2000). Integral Pyschology. Boston: Shambhala .