From 19:00 to 21:00 on February 23, 2023, the SSI-L Project Team held a webinar via Tencent Meeting, to discuss curriculum design in partner schools. The Project Office and project team members from four partner schools participated in the discussion.
Tian Xiaomeng, from Tiyuguan Road Primary School in Dongcheng District, Beijing, shared the curriculum case on behalf of her school’s project team. She presented the curriculum design of “The Truth of Low-calorie Food” from various perspectives: project background, driving questions and series of sub-questions, five-star map, scientific concepts and practice, learning objectives, class schedule, evaluation methods and dimensions, etc. Hou Jingdan, another member of the project team, added two important issues. One is how to identify the educational goals to better implement the top-level design; and the other is how to further explore the scientific concepts in the curriculum.
Based on this case, teachers from each school and members of the Project Office participated actively in discussion and exchange of ideas. Meng Xin, from Beijing Sanfan Middle School, gave specific suggestions based on the practical relationship between the topic and the teaching target — the fourth- and fifth-grade students at primary schools. Li Ping, from Yuxin School, suggested to design interdisciplinary teaching content around sugar-free cola. He Weiwei, Zhang Letong, and Wei Wenting, members of the Project Office, exchanged ideas on the design of driving questions, the connections between teaching topics and students, and the scientific concepts in the curriculum.
Lin Jing, head of the SSI-L Project Team and director of Science Development Department of the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment for Basic Education Quality, believed that the issue selection of “low-sugar and low-calorie food” is meaningful, providing relevant resources to partner school teachers for reference. She also proposed a number of key issues in SSI-L curriculum design: 1) the top-level design needs to further consider the “issue of uncertainty”; 2) attention should be paid to the development of students’ scientific thinking and practical ability on the basis of scientific concepts clarification; 3) activity design should “go down”, connected with students’ real life.
Peng Menghua, head of the Disciplinary Guidance Expert Team of the SSI-L Project and a Special-Rank Teacher of the Physics Department of the Second Affiliated Middle School of Beijing Normal University, put forward some ideas for the curriculum content. The first is to study nutritional elements in depth. The second is to pay attention to a balanced diet. And the third is to consider carefully incorporating the advertisement factor into the star map.
Through exchange of ideas and discussion on this specific case, the project team members of the four partner schools have had a better understanding of the top-level design of SSI-L curriculum, the logical chain of driving questions, and consideration of scientific concepts in curriculum content.