I had a much longer post I wrote last night, but have determined it was too long…I reflected on the changing educational landscape since the Common Curriculum in the early 90’s, yadda, yadda, yadda. However it was too long. The entire point was to make it clear that in my mind, curriculum has changed a lot in the last 30 years, and it is in response to the changing world.
My concern though, the question I wanted to ponder was really much more succinct, so I have distilled (one of my favourite words) the point to a much more condensed version.
Our world is changing so rapidly, how do we determine what we should teach our kids? Before a government can consult on curriculum, write it, publish it and train the educational world, it is already too old.
I know there are basic skills: collaboration, numeracy, literacy (whatever that really means in a rapidly changing world) and just plain and simple what I call “thinking”. But what is the material we use? Who decides? Why would I teach a history course in school when a kid can watch a renowned professor from Harvard on her iPad, for free?
Knowledge is vast and entirely accessible to everyone. How do we decide what is important? What skills are going to be needed in ten years, not now or ten years ago? I want to say it is is simple as saying we have to exercise our brains, so we can be sharp when necessary, but man oh man, that is soooo simplistic.
I love history and loved teaching it. I liked to think I brought elements to it that cannot be had in an LMS or by in a podcast, but….the basic material is now here for everyone at the drop of a hat. And, I personally enjoy iTunes History Lectures and have learned a lot from them, and not just basic knowledge, but I have thought a lot about things I learned. I did not write about them, but I discussed them with people and sharpened my own intellect by engaging my mind with them.
So, where do we go from here?