In June 2012, we hosted our first Train the Trainer program. Please read the following testimonials from participants:
Outside of the [Global Peace (GP)] course, I just want to send my encouragement to you and the GCE family to continue to experiment, and load the rest of your curriculum with WHATs and HOWs that adhere to the GP model of unit design. It’s clear that your team has been doing great work. It’s fascinating to think about classes being planned this way.
For example, within my school I think about how many new opportunities for integration would open up outside of my course through the arteries of this rather simple, thoughtful design. The nature of this unit structure is so conducive to that specific kind of collaborative work that deepens student learning, but often doesn’t happen or is merely tangential. The model also demands a certain degree of differentiation in order for a teacher to activate it correctly. It really seems both obvious and miraculous, like, why haven’t we been planning this way? With a frame like this for units, I think teachers across content areas, given enough time for planning, could really, really, really do amazing things in their classrooms.
I’m extremely excited by the GP format and I feel that it’s also administrator-friendly, a point that shouldn’t need to be made but I think does; it reflects the mission of any high school today, but is also so permeable that it allows for an inflow of rigorous, skills-based activity. Thinking about the verticality of the unit structure in terms of skills-building/ACT, and not just focusing on its horizons (integration, etc.) is also really interesting. That challenge of blending it and making sure to tease out skills/ACT/standards, with this model already in place, could produce some of the most valuable content and activities for the WHATs/HOWs without feeling like a separate, onerous weight to the students as they learn. you should call the design of the GP class the uprise unit structure. That’s what it feels like – I’ve been reclining and am now getting up. Or, that I’m actually in revolt. In either case, ascending. By which I mean, the students will.
Having said this, I haven’t actually taught your wonderful curriculum. I am eager to see how it feels in practice with our students, what we are going to have learned by the end. Hopefully, there’s an uprising. Thanks for this discovery and this training.
-Teacher from CICS Northtown
This workshop has increased my interest in the GCE Model for Learning in that I now have a visual roadmap of how to plan purposeful courses, units and lessons. The structure makes me excited to not only teach the Global Peace Course but also to see how I can incorporate the model into my Writing Course at Northtown. Diving into the lessons and allowing us to see how the components fit together and then giving micro teaching opportunities was invaluable.
I believe this curriculum allows students to be the natural learners they were meant to be. Providing purpose, a roadmap and activities that allow them to discover answers to questions along the way opens up unlimited possibilities for the student learning experience. The structure teaches them how to be forever learners and letting one question lead them on an exploration that might take them to yet another question. It is a continuous learning cycle with necessary skills built in. How do I now take all of this to plan what I need for CICS? I want to really aspire to live up to the possibility of this model and course.
-Teacher from CICS Northtown