Teachers, they’re a time poor lot, so the convenience of MAPPEN’s flexible lesson plans has hit a note with over 220 schools of all stripes signing on for the program. Growth has been rapid and remarkable, it’s taken only two years for MAPPEN to find its way into 2100 classrooms across the country, that’s more than 40,000 students now benefiting from the program.
Just released are the problem-based Science and Technology units written around the concept of Discovery, the units encourage students to apply scientific inquiry skills in real world situations.
Mark Ritterman, who works in product development at MAPPEN, says that the release of the Discovery units was in response to teacher’s feedback, requesting MAPPEN up the ante in Science and Technology area.
“Our curriculum is constantly undergoing review; we make changes to meet new mandated standards, and listen attentively to teacher feedback. During the new Discovery units, students are introduced to scientific knowledge, such as types of forces in Physics, and are scaffolded towards showing their understanding of this knowledge by building a balloon-powered car. They explore coding through Scratch (the MIT developed drag and drop programming tool), and use the technology to develop a quiz for other students to complete.” The feedback has been very positive, he says.
By using MAPPEN, teachers can guarantee that they are addressing Science, which includes, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences and Science as a Human Endeavour and The Humanities including Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History.
MAPPEN also addresses Personal, Social & Community Health, Design and Technologies and The Capabilities including Critical and Creative Thinking, Design and Technologies, Personal & Social Capability, Intercultural Capability and Ethical Understanding, plus, where appropriate, logical integrations of English and Mathematics.
Teachers have the option of using the MAPPEN lessons as is or adapting them to suit a their students. MAPPEN has been tailored for every Australian Primary school, with versions for the Australian Curriculum, Victorian Curriculum, Western Australian Curriculum and the New South Wales Standards Authority outcomes.
MAPPEN has an in-built notes feature which has been instrumental in building a collaborative community of MAPPEN teachers who help to continually improve and update the product and share their ideas, centred around differentiation strategies and alternative resources to be used alongside each task. MAPPEN is also holding a series of workshops over the next few months so teachers can contribute feedback and suggestions they’ve come up with while using the program during the year. The workshops will be held in Victoria and are open to all MAPPEN teachers.
Rather than forgoing responsibilities, using MAPPEN’s fully resourced lesson plans gives teachers more time and energy to focus on the needs of their students and improving how they teach.
Cheryl Binns, Principal Cambridge Park Public School says “It [MAPPEN] has reduced teacher workload by effectively integrating NSW curriculum outcomes across several Key Learning Areas. This has been critical for us because we are an Early Action For Success School with three Instructional Leaders in place. That reform alone has had a huge impact on teacher workload and capacity to deliver all required curriculum content in the given time. MAPPEN has eased the programming and assessment burden for my teachers while at the same time providing engaging quality learning experiences.
“As a leader looking for ways to develop teacher capacity to understand and grow student skill sets in 21st century learning modes, I have found that MAPPEN seamlessly embeds these through the delivery of integrated curriculum content and outcomes. This for me was the big ticket item. I have tried to develop these capacities in several schools across a number of years and have had patchy success because I was asking teachers to do the leg work around embedding these skills in curriculum. MAPPEN does this job for teachers.”
David Logue, Assistant Principal Kincumber Primary School has been similarly impressed with what MAPPEN has brought to the school saying; “MAPPEN has allowed our school to embrace inquiry in a systematic and organised manner. The units of work are clearly thought out and easy to use. The resources make lesson preparation a breeze and the professional development section has allowed teachers to embrace new ways of teaching in a self-paced environment.
“While some of the lessons are conceptually challenging for the students, I’m constantly amazed at their level of achievement. The online lesson registration makes supervision easy for the school executive and is a far more accurate system of managing programming. The integration of technology is an integral part of MAPPEN. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) activities are both engaging and authentic. Having come from an international school using International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), I see MAPPEN as the solution to integrating inquiry based teaching with a national curriculum.”
“MAPPEN raises teacher capacity, embeds rich learning tasks and ensures the curriculum is being covered, all while saving our teachers time.”
Dennis Yarrington (President of the Australian Primary Principal’s Association), at a recent MAPPEN event in NSW titled ‘Raising the Bar’, reaffirmed the importance of a broad curriculum that doesn’t narrow its focus to solely improving NAPLAN results. “The curriculum has narrowed due to a focus on national and international testing. Maybe our STEM, Physical Education & Health and the Arts are suffering because of this focus? It should be broad, balanced and rich, allowing for deep learning. We want to know what kids can do with what they know, not just what they know.”
What is Mappen?
- Mappen is a world-first curriculum and learning platform
- MAPPEN is an online resource the provides expertly crafted lesson plans for primary school teachers
- MAPPEN provides teachers with contextural professional learning while they teach
- MAPPEN lessons actively engane students in meaningful tasks grounded in real world experiences and appropriate to their stage of learning
- MAPPEN is reliable, practical and easy to apply in the classroom
- Learning through MAPPEN's rich, concept-driven curriculumsets students up to thrive in our dynamic 21st century society
- Using MAPPEN's fully resourced lesson plans gives teachers more time and energy to focus on the needs of their students and improving how they teach