I noticed today something that reinfornced my opinion of education curriculum. As you can see from my last post, there’s a production of My Fair Lady at the high school for the next three nights, plus an in-school presentation this morning. Our son came home from the session today and after an extended long weekend of practices he’s exhausted, but happy. He took a nap and is now preparing for this evening’s performance. He has a lot of lines plus many songs, dances and stage movements to memorize and perform.
There is an English assignment due for tomorrow that requires a re-write of an ending to a book. This is similar to the re-writes of several plays he has done and is something he can do and do well. However, he has almost no time to get it done. He will get something completed, but I’m sure it won’t be his best work or a great learning experience. Of course, he is presented with no options other than doing the prescribed task. There is no flexibility in the system for anything like prior learning assessment or objective based learning where achievement lets you move on to other things. This is the bully of curriculum.
As I was thinking about this in relation to my work I thought of the best way that I could describe curriculum to someone who had never heard of the term:
Curriculum: an outdated broadcast model for knowledge-sharing, based on the presumption of a shortage of information, limited social connections and finite knowledge boundaries.