Friday, November 18, 2011

Alberta Education Survey on Curriculum

I completed Alberta Education's online survey for Albertans to provide input on rethinking curriculum.

Here are my responses:

1. Curriculum evolves in response to emerging student and societal needs.

  • I agreed and commented: Curriculum and course outlines that are created without student input is like a bride planning her wedding, honeymoon and life without a husband.
2. Curriculum enables student-centered learning.
  • I agreed and commented: Too often curriculum is done *to* kids when it should be done *with* them. 
3. Curriculum enables broad exploration and deep understanding
  • I agreed and commented: Coverage is the enemy of understanding.
4. Curriculum enables the development of competencies for living, learning, and working.

  • I agreed and commented: Anything worth learning is worth doing so in a context and for a purpose.
5. Curriculum enables ways of learning - acknowledging that students have diverse needs and preferences for learning.
  • I agreed and commented: We do not need standardization to have high standards -- and those standards need to be as vague as possible.
6. Curriculum enables ways of knowing - recognizing that one's knowing is influenced by personal identity, experience and culture.
  • I agreed and commented: This is only possible if we have both differentiated instruction and differentiated assessment.
7. Curriculum enables learning through flexible timing and pacing in a variety of learning environments.
  • I agreed and commented: This is only possible when both class sizes and curriculum outcomes small.
8. Please add up to three ideas that you consider important to guide future curriculum development. Provide rationale for your ideas.
  • Curriculum should involve project based learning that is done in a context and for a purpose, collaboratively with students.
  • When children have trouble learning this should be seen not as a problem *with* the child, but a problem *for* the curriculum to solve.
  • Children should experience their successes and failures not as reward and punishment but as information.

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