On the morning of May 16, 2023, the SSI-L project seminar was held in the library in the middle school department at Yuxin School Attached to Capital Normal University. Peng Menghua, leader of the SSI-L project subject guidance expert team, and a special ranked physics teacher at the Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, Zhu Yujun, project disciplinary guidance expert, full-time deputy editor-in-chief and director of the editorial department of Chinese Journal of Chemical Education at Beijing Normal University attended the meeting and discussed the curriculum “Why middle school students shouldn’t drink alcohol – origin, consumption, and regulation of alcohol” with the partner school project team. Tang Feng, Director of the Curriculum Center at Yuxin, Cao Xuelong, Director of the school’s Grade Reform Department at Yuxin, and members of the Grade 7 project team at Yuxin joined the meeting.
The discussion focused on the curriculum’s design and its classroom implementation. At the meeting, Cao Xuelong, Yu Beihong, and Cai Xin shared the instructional design of four activities combined with the video records and photos of students’ learning outcomes, including students’ participation, generative questions during the learning, teachers’ experience in implementing the curriculum, and the further improvement. The experts at the seminar affirmed the initial success in curriculum design and implementation, believed that the expected curriculum goals in the previous phase were achieved, and emphasized the value of the generative questions from students.
Director Tang Feng from the Curriculum Center of Yuxin then introduced the project team’s preparation for the student’s visit to the brewery. In her report, Director Tang mentioned that there are video exhibits, props, and model exhibits in the brewery. Students participating in the brewery tour will not only see the development of the brewery’s history, but also learn about the origin, production, history, economy, culture, and other aspects of brewing. Thus, students will have a firsthand experience. The experts at the seminar supported the practical arrangements of the curriculum’s on-site visits and made specific suggestions on the brewery tour plan. For example, they suggested conducting field research with driving questions and guiding students from cultural, historical, scientific, and economic perspectives. They also recommended integrating research questions with students’ interests. After the visit, students should have sufficient opportunities for discussion and communication. Teachers should encourage students to analyze how to ensure the quality of the alcohol from the aspects such as raw materials and production process and relate it back to the curriculum’s theme of the present phase.
Finally, the teachers in the project team exchanged their plans for the follow-up curriculum implementation. Based on the group discussion, the experts offered guidance that teachers should clarify the performance indicators for student activities in each class, train students’ higher-order thinking by designing teaching activities such as demonstration and explanation, evaluation and discussion, and test the achievement of teaching objectives, while timely reflecting on students’ generative questions in class to advance curriculum development.
During the discussion, all members voiced their views freely. Their thoughts collided and inspired each other. This seminar provided practical and feasible action suggestions for the Grade 7 project team at Yuxin and indicated the direction of the next phase of curriculum construction.