This summer holiday I worked on designing a transdisciplinary Adolescence unit for the Toddle community. The purpose of this unit is to enable students to understand the concept of adolescence and to build an identity for themselves that they can express with confidence and with positive intent.

Central Idea

A strong sense of self-efficacy enhances adolescence’ accomplishments and personal well-being.

The central idea focuses on the concept of self-efficacy that is a person’s belief in his/hers ability to succeed in a particular context. The self-efficacy beliefs predict one’s behaviours, thought patterns and motivation.  Individuals with high self- efficacy will engage regularly, will exert long-term effort, and enhance their overall personal performance (Bandura, 1977).

Transdisciplinarity

Designed with a transdisciplinary approach in mind, the unit empowers educators to encourage universal understandings that learners will demonstrate in a variety of waysThrough the Personal, social, and physical education learning experiences students will observe the conceptual relationship between puberty, well-being, and self-efficacy.  By using the Identity Iceberg in Arts students will express their point of view about the concept of identity artistically. They will draw an iceberg engaging their creativity to express their knowledge about this concept and how it relates to puberty. With the Hexagonal Thinking learning experience learners will brainstorm, think critically, and reflect on how cultural influences and traditions related to adolescence may impact well-being, a context that fits the realm of Social Studies. For Mathematics , in the Growth Mindset learning experience, we are going to learn how mathematical thinking can enhance our self-efficacy and support human development, by exploring shapes, patterns, and angles with a meaningful data talk. 

By aiming to meet the diverse needs of the learners – physical, social, cognitive, and emotional – teachers will ensure that the learning is engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant. Students will be able to convey learning that is relevant within the physical education context, and also learning that transcends this area and connects with the real world. 

Agency

Supporting student agency will be an integral part of the unit and educators can promote it in the following manner:

  1. Empower students to know themselves by acquiring the concepts of well-being, self-efficacy, and identity.
  2. Encourage students to determine who they want to be by establishing conceptual relationships between the anchoring concepts of the unit. 
  3. Support students to identify the steps to make learning happen through metacognition strategies that enhance their competence, independence, and self-directed learning.

Learning that Transfers

This unit provides teachers and students with innovative strategies of the 21st-century assessment design promoted by the Learning that Transfers teaching approach.

Through the Single-Point Rubric or the Student Self-assessment tools educators can provide learners with opportunities to create connections, deepen the structural patterns of their disciplines and prepare them to be adaptable, life-long learners. In What Concepts Live Here? students experience a dissimilar context with the purpose to observe and make connections between the key and anchoring concepts of this unit. They then apply their understanding to a foreign context, described in the Novel Scenario, where they will have to construct the 3rd line of inquiry of this unit. 

I would like to thank Ekta Sethi for her fantastic feedback and support offered in the planning process. Ekta has a lot of patience and she devotes a lot of attention to every single detail of the planning. I learned from her about the importance of creating a ‘hook’ for every learning experience. Thanks, Ekta!

This unit would have not been possible without the collaborative approach, descriptive feedback and informal discussions that I had with Ali Ezzeddine and Youssef Sayah. Ali and Youssef, you are inspiring human beings!

References:

Adolescence Unit – Toddle

Bandura A. Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies. Cambridge University Press; 1997

The Research Underpinnings of Learning That Transfers

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