Thursday, November 29, 2007

Focus on Curriculum

One of the great things about the Educate For A Change plan is that is sweeps away so many hurdles that we've been forever struggling to get over. When learning becomes the focus and the sole criteria for placement and promotion, all sorts of problems just fall off the table.

When we start expecting "life-long learning" instead of just figuring out ways to get students through the system, we make a fundamental change in the culture of our schools.

At this point, we can take a long hard look at curriculum and ask some important questions:

1) What do we want people to learn in each discipline?
2) What are the essential standards?
3) Can the standards be organized in a sequence of pre-requisites leading to advanced study?
4) Are there cognitive development aspects of the standards that must be taken into account in sequencing?
5) Do the standards suggest a linear or a spiraling curriculum?
6) Are there parallel strands of standards in the discipline that are dependent on each other, and require horizontal articulation in terms of content and developmental aspects?
7) When we look at a standard and the outcome we expect, does this suggest a particular methodology?

In the next post, I'll speak to some of the important issues in Standards development. ~Mark


The Princess Mom said...

I just went through your whole wonderful website. You've outlined exactly why I chose to withdraw my kids from public middle school and homeschool them. I've worked with many parents of gifted kids who have exactly these frustrations with school as it currently stands. Bravo for articulating the problems so well! If only we had a school in our district that worked on your principles!

drpack said...

Mark ... what happened? It is now 2009 and there has been no obvious progress!
You analysis and ideas are spot on ... what will it take to keep it (or get it) going?