What Is The #New Curriculum? | Will Richardson | 3 Min Read

Let’s start here: Curriculum is just a guess. 

And to paraphrase the late, great Seymour Papert, now that we have access to just about everything there is to know, what one-billionth of one percent are we going to choose to teach in school?

If we’re honest, we’ll admit that most of what’s in our program of study is there because it’s always been there. Shakespeare, the Roman Empire, calculus, geology…we don’t include those things because they have the most direct relevance to the lives our students are leading today. Hence the age-old student lament “Why are we learning this?” 

And, if we’re making honesty a habit, we’ll also admit that our infatuation with parceling out all of these tidbits of knowledge into discrete curricular subjects also doesn’t map to the way we learn in our real lives. I mean, who do you know that moves from one topic to some drastically different other every 55 minutes? 

The reality is the moment we’re in is seriously pushing against the what and why of curriculum in schools. I know, colleges require it, and parents expect it. But that doesn’t absolve of us the need (and duty) to interrogate just how well…

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Will Richardson

A former public school educator of 22 years, Will Richardson has spent the past 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Most recently, Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute which was created to help educators use “fearless inquiry” to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future. In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global “Changemakers in Education” by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 “Edupreneurs to Follow” by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, lead breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. He has also authored six books, and given TEDx Talks in New York, Melbourne, and Vancouver.