On July 21, 2021, from 19:30 to 21:30, the SSI-L project team of Beijing Normal University held an online meeting via Tencent Meeting to discuss matters related to the writing of SSI-L project. Dr. Lin Jing, the SSI-L project leader, together with subject experts, Mr. Peng Menghua, Mr. Cao Chunhao and Mr. Zhang Tao guided the meeting, and more than 30 backbone teachers from partner schools participated in the discussion.
Ms. Wang Yingshui, from Fuxin Primary School in Rongcheng, Shandong Province, shared her thoughts and conclusion of writing the SSI-L paper as the first speaker. She divided her paper into three parts: background of the topic, interpretation of the topic, and analysis of the topic. Based on introducing the topic and the basic information of the curriculum (five-star chart, driving questions), she focused on the third part, analyzing the ideas and details of the curriculum design to reflect the “learning field”. Besides, she also emphasized the importance of using a third-party narrative to describe the class example, simplifying the content of the example when necessary, and highlighting the ideas behind the example. Mr. Cao Chunhao pointed that the highlights of this paper were the use of the framework of “learning field” and the insightful analysis of the case example, especially the teacher-student dialogue, but he also suggested that the concluding part was not closely integrated with the theory of “learning field” and could be polished.
Ms. Meng Chunlin from Jiancaoping Experimental Middle School in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, shared the writing process and content of their paper “Let the seeds of science germinate in students’ hearts – Where will the future of plastic runways go?” Based on the basic requirements from the project team, they referred three model papers and decided the format of the paper as “Background of the topic, interpretation of the topic, case study and analysis, and reflection on the case”, briefly introducing why the plastic runway was chosen as the topic, then focusing on the five-star diagram to illustrate the goals of this SSI-L activity, and detailing the design of the teaching activities and their content. Finally, she reflected on two problems of the paper, one is the vividness of the case narrative, and the other is how to detail the case properly. Ms. Meng found that the five-star diagram and the presentation of teaching links needed to be revised repeatedly, and that the content involving science was relatively easy to illustrate, while the content involving ethics was a more difficult one. She summed up her experience and believed that if people want to write a good SSI case paper, he or she must firstly deeply engage in the topic and accumulate materials, secondly learn educational theories and writing skills, and thirdly dare to pick up the pen. Mr. Peng Menghau suggested that the connotation of the five-star chart could be expressed in the form of activities, and the content of “toxic runway” and engineering falsification could be strengthened to enhance the ethical discussion.
Mr. Kong Pengfei from Shichang Campus of No.1 Middle School of High-tech District, Weihai, Shandong Province, spoke to share the writing process and the content of the SSI-L paper in his school. The team first drafted a number of subject words that could explain the central idea of the full text, and finalized the title of the paper from these words according to the requirement. After determining the idea of writing the main body, they divided the paper into four parts, the background analysis of the topic, the overall design of the topic, the specific design of the module, and the summary & reflection, and then completed the writing in modules. The abstract first explained the theoretical situation of SSI, its practical application in China and the West, then condensed the essence of the four parts of the paper, clarified the research purpose and innovation of the paper, and added necessary key words and references. This paper clarified the rationale of the topic “Reclamation of Little Rock Island”, the curriculum objectives, and the curriculum design, and believed that the design of the topic required the collective efforts of the project team, and the design and implementation of SSI-L could improve the teachers’ theory and practical skills, as well as students’ personal comprehensive ability and core competencies, while students’ ability of dialectical thinking and innovative inquiry still needed to be further enhanced. Mr. Meng-Hua Peng suggested that the reclamation of land could be considered from the perspective of national strategic security.
Dr. Lin Jing concluded that if SSI-L case writing was to be combined with theory, priority should be given to the curriculum standards or theories related to SSI, such as “Educating Five Domains Simultaneously” (proposed by Cai Yuanpei), core competencies, moral education, and the development of higher-order thinking skills etc. Teachers should not be afraid of theory and literature, or caught in a sea of literature for the sake of theory, which might lead to nothing instead. It would be more important to reflect on the class itself from the results of one’s own practice. Dr. Lin encouraged the teachers to continue to maintain teamwork. “As we deepen our practice, we will not only be able to write case articles on curriculum development, but also complete more research papers by combining the evaluation and verification of the effectiveness of the curriculum”, said Lin at the end of the meeting.