It would not be a stretch to say kids are defined by curriculum, curriculum they have no say in. Their very success in school is measured by how they respond to 'X' curriculum (you might say the same thing about teachers). A good student means achieving the standards of a curriculum that is forced upon them. What if this was different?
What if instead of being defined and judged by an outside curriculum, students could define, judge, and build their own curriculum?
Pushing the idea further, this kind of “new curriculum” would not simply some abstract matter of curiosity and whimsy, where we throw out any and all learning goals and let students run about, but rather a redefining of what students “study”–goals based on the student, their history, their passions, and their networks and native geographical communities.Thinking in these terms, a standard curriculum would be useless, outdated, and too prescribed. The "new" curriculum would call for students and learners to leverage interests with practical connections. Students would need to be creators, sharers, innovators, and competent judges of information. They would need to build integrated webs of connections and resources. This web would function as curriculum. Teachers would be partners and facilitators; their goal to help students find networks, tools, and models.
What if the...
"common and viable curriculum” was, rather than content, instead a set of networks, tools, self-directed thinking habits, and accessible learning models?"
I think I can answer this question. We might actually get engaged, motivated, and inspired 21st century learners. School would be an exciting place, a hub to learn from each other and build webs of connections. Your own learning curriculum would be the way to pursue your passions, and literally MAKE YOUR OWN DREAMS come true.
Check out Jackie Gerstein's presentation below:
Education 3.0: Altering Round Hole in Round Peg Education