In post-Sputnik era, the Federal government poured large bundles of money into developing new school curricula. Thoughful literati, scientists and educators worked together to create insightful, state-of-the-art content and procedures for use in preschool through high school.
Interestingly, teachers and parents resisted these curricula. Thanks in large part to Sarge Schriver, preschool programs as a category of public schooling (not necessarily the content or processes) survive to this day. Direct Instruction as a second generation of that effort also survived, but not as prominently. References to New Math can also be found occasionally.
Tim Wilson wants us to ask tough questions about what kind of curriculum is needed to produce citizens (for the 21st century) that can adapt rapidly, use technology effectively, communicate convincingly, cooperate seemlessly, solve problems creatively, and think unconventionally. He doesn’t think that curriculum looks much like the curriculum we have today.
Tim’s a thoughtful Technology Integration Specialist at the Hopkins School District in MN, and a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota. He’s musing that high school students aren’t challenged enough.
I think he may be correct about limited challenges. Perhaps the enthusiasm of new curricula development efforts can increase challenges for students and yield different results from previous similar noble efforts.
What part do you think electronic hardware manufacturers (almost? all of which are in Asia) and software publishers will play in future school curricula? Will independent software vendors fit into changing what and how much students learn? Will any of advanced high tech increase or decrease learning rates of students, and thus help them meet greater challenges in school?