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Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights

Bad Words: Curriculum

Does curriculum still have a place in today’s student learning experiences?

What’s striking at the heart of education? What’s craftED in the mine-d of lifelong learners and educators alike? The building blocks of learning begin with people, building relationships, and wide-open wonderment. So, then, where does curriculum fit in?

As a curriculum-advocate, I’m wrestling with misconceptions about the latest buzz words and trends. I’m wondering if all that glitters is gold–or just flashy and brand new for a while–and if it’s dulling the need for, role of, and structures within curriculum.

Curriculum is a unique passion–It kind of has its hands in everything. You can’t talk about most education topics without, at least indirectly, relating it to learning and curriculum.

Yet, exciting are the times in which we live! And what a great time to be an educator! With progressive ideas progressing, and the world and worlds of education changing daily, I’m wondering how much longer a scripted curriculum will still prove to be an effective resource in our learning journeys? Are the days of curriculum numbered? I’m very concerned. Especially, given just how much…

Words matter. Words have power! If not mindful as a consumer, it may seem–with absolute power–like some words have overpowered others and made them BAD! For example:

  • Transformation makes enhancement a bad word.
  • Millions follow empower and unfollow engage.
  • Student voice launches a mutiny on student choice.
  • Long-term process exceeds product deadlines.  
  • Learning #swrl-s far beyond the showcase universe.
  • Feedback never stops talking about grading.
  • Meaningful learning outlives homework.
  • Video kills the radio star.
  • #TPACK encompasses #SAMR.
  • Failing leans farther forward than perfection.
  • Sharing mediocrity goes viral without attention to detail.
  • Relationships thrive without accountability.
  • #4Cs skills soften rote memorization.
  • Wonder colors [way] outside the lines of curriculum.

While I haven’t researched all of these as deeply as I would have liked–YET–what I do know is that many of these phrases mean different things to different people. While each one of these could be a separate blog, a chapter in a book, or even a whole book, I simply wonder:

In what kind of world do we live presently?

In what kind of world will we live in the future?

Can any of these dichotomies live together?

Or is it all just a paradox?

Time will tell… And #HamstraHighlights invites your feedback.

2 Replies to “Bad Words: Curriculum”

  • So as I was reading your list of the constant battle of good vs evil I kept thinking – why? Why does it have to be one over the other? Why can’t there be a both and. I think there’s room for both ends of every spectrum you listed as well as the foggy gray area in between. Right?

    • Hello, Aubrey. That’s exactly what I’m saying. It does not always have to be one or the other, nor do I believe that these are always on the same continuum. Still, when you hear the word “engage,” doesn’t part of you cringe, because you know that engage is not quite as good as “empower?” And because of that feeling, I find my own conscience purposely avoiding “engage” like it’s a bad word, like it’s “evil,” as you commented.

      But really, there is a time and place for engage and empower, and it’s the true art of education to know when, why, and how to facilitate the “both” in all of those ranges.

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment! You have me thinking deeply on this again…
      @KyleHamstra

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