The curriculum is the problem…

… hmmm, something tells me that I should spend more time that I’m about to on considering the free curriculum discussion from Wales>Reynolds>Downes>Reynolds>Downes.

(reminds me of something Greg Ritter used to do… come back Greg… please!)

Here’s my take… in 95% of cases curriculum is artificial, unhelpful and obstructive. Learning has in many contexts become what it is not about, content.

I believe that all education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race… I believe that the only true education comes through the stimulation of the child’s powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself. (John Dewey 1897)

…only through communication can human life hold meaning. The teacher’s thinking is authenticated only by the authenticity of the students’ thinking. The teacher cannot think for her students, nor can she impose her thought on them. Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication. (Paulo Freire 1970)

Yes, information and ‘knowledge’ is becoming more freely and widely available through projects such as the ones mentioned by Rob, yes there is a positive need and demand for materials / curriculum / call-it-what-you-will and, in a practicable sense, you can’t do without the stuff in todays classroom.

But fer crissakes let’s not get bogged down in it… let’s not replicate the embedded and deeply flawed transmissive models we’ve been endowed with (and which, if anything, have picked up steam through this digital ‘revolution’ we’re experiencing) and please please please don’t go developing kinder curriculum or aiming for ‘a complete curriculum… by 2040’… like there’s *one* set of stuff that’s all we need.

Wales is right, he is making this prediction “completely by the “seat of [his] pants.””… but unfortunately he’s also talking out of them…