Sunday, March 9, 2008

Will this be on the test?

OK, dharter, you win.

I had discovered the thrill of blogging while taking Jeff's class. Then work realities hit, and blogging just wasn't a "priority" anymore. But in this beautifully interconnected universe, I could no longer bear a most recent post touting my my mom's new Christmas Nano.

As I prepare for my first ASCD convention, I wonder what lies ahead for curriculum and curriculum mapping. I can't deny that technological advances make our lives more accessible to more people and information more accessible to us, but accessibility doesn't change the substance of our needs or needed skills.

Working with educators rather than students provides many opportunities for questioning the path of education. Nonetheless, our technology shouldn't dictate the content of what we teach; it is merely a tool to accelerate our discovery learning.

Wiggins and McTighe use etymology in understanding curriculum - as the course to be run, given a desired endpoint. Until there are near-metaphysical changes in our destination (i.e., an academic degree leading to a job/career to support exisitence on earth), there will not be lasting change in the preparation toward this end - commonly known as k-12 education.

Richard Bach's biplane view of life offers winding roads filled with alternatives. He offers that Learning is finding out what you already know. Education should not restrict the path that students use in this discovery, but they need an aerial view of where the "course to run" is leading them

It is misleading, no matter how many different jobs a 21st Century student may face, to coax our students into believing that mastery of the traditional core subjects is anything other than necessary. How we lead them to discover those fundamentals can eternally morph, but without the possession of the knowledge and skills essential in a math, science, language, and arts education - traditional long before the industrial age - remains essential.