Thanks to John Bidder for this link to an article in The Age out of Australia, where he recently presented at a conference discussing Web 2.0 tools and their potentials in education. (There’s a concept.) The quote comes from Susan Mann, CEO of the Curriculum Corporation:
“The old concept of curriculum is dead but you can’t tell anyone,” she says. “There are innovative schools and clusters of schools but others are stuck in a time warp.”
And that’s in Australia…people here are even less happy to hear that the concept of curriculum is dead. What will we do with all those tests?
technorati tags:education, curriculum, schools
I’m a relative newcomer to the site and to using Web 2.0 in the classroom, but don’t you think that it’s overstating it to say that “curriculum is dead” or maybe even that the “old concept of curriculum is dead?” It seems to me that the challenge is to figure out how to direct the energy of our students into ways that will help them learn the things we want them to be learning. In some ways, I suppose, the old model of curriculum is dead, and of course it would be counter-productive to fight for the kind of non-collaborative, purely kill-and-drill kind of lessons that the article is putting up in opposition to Web 2.0. But the real issue, it seems to me, was touched upon in your recent post about “where are the best practices?” We need to think about how we can integrate these powerful, exciting Internet tools into schools so that they are both changing the ways we think about education (especially by making it more collaborative in some ways) while still helping us to fulfill curricular objectives and give our students concrete tools that will help them succeed in the world.
Will Richardson says
You’re right…I should have said we here have trouble giving up the “old” idea of curriculum. But I think the old concept of curriculum may be pretty irrelevant these days. It was built on a totally different premise from what we see happening now. At what point do the curriculuar objectives change? And the lack of best practices that are really “best” I think echoes the idea that curriculum isn’t changing very quickly. You’re right that we should be moving in that direction in meaningful ways, but until we get out of that “old” mindset, I wonder how many examples we’ll see. Thanks for the comment.
Doug Symington says
I was going to post to say that Will’s question was a loaded one, but I think that Matt has already made that point. My answer to the question about tests is: Change them.
Until the sage becomes a guide, the true power of education is lost. This is especially true in computer-mediated environments.
The real magic will come when learners are encouraged to decide between audio, graphics, text and video; or any combination thereof, when learning and submitting assignments and completing examinations.
Before we actually go as far as saying that the curriculum is dead we need to define exactly what we are talking about.
Certainly the knowledge focussed, fact aquiring curriculum is best buried. But a thinking curriculum based on the development of robust inquiry skills?
Nix has it right: Inquiry skills, and then evaluation skills and thinking about “how does this matter?” discussions should be mainstays now. But we still need a basis of facts–but use them a different way. Otherwise we risk using a lot of electrons just shooting the breeze. Go ahead to Fisch’s powerpoint referenced in a later blog. Plenty of facts- – and lots to think about. it’s how we use those facts that must change. No more parroting.