Revisiting the fundamentals of traditional curricula

This post was written by Tom Caswell

the wolrd needs a new curriculum
Marc Prensky’s book cover

This week UOC and the UNESCO Chair in Education and Technology for Social Change will host a 2-day seminar called Revisiting the fundamentals of traditional curricula. Education thought leaders from around the world will meet in Barcelona, where the education reform debate will focus on what has been called the most fundamental unit of educational paradigms: curriculum.

Our curriculum should reflect our vision of the world, including how we will prepare students for a future full of information, technology, personalization, and change. But much of our curriculum is still built on a one-size-fits-all, lecture-style model where all students get the same lessons at the same pace regardless of their abilities. This is one example of how curriculum design has remained unchanged for decades while so many aspects of our lives have become highly personalized. How do we address this disconnect? What kind of learning experiences and assessments will prepare students to thrive in a future we cannot ourselves fully imagine?

The following skills and abilities could be valuable in a global, information-driven economy. How do we create curriculum to address them?

  1. Learn to search, sort, and evaluate information
  2. Learn to create new things and adapt to new situations
  3. Learn to build trust, relationships, and networks
  4. Learn to focus and prioritize in an age of distraction
  5. Learn to synthesize, interpret, and validate ideas
  6. Learn to lead, follow, and collaborate
  7. Learn to share and give back (e.g. OER and Open Source)

Is our curriculum going through a gradual evolution or is it in need of something more disruptive? Join us this week for an exploration of curriculum as an agent for change. Follow the discussion using #curriculumBCN as we highlight blueprints and working examples of curriculum models that are delivering on the promise of educational transformation.

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