Sunday, September 3, 2017

What one-billionth of one percent are we going to choose to teach in school? (Seymour Papert)

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash
At our Senior Educational Leadership Team (SELT) meetings we often discuss the curriculum we should be using in our schools.

We know our current curriculum is not cutting the mustard. 

We know we are basing our teaching and learning on an outdated structure, a hold over from the industrial age.

A hold over from when NZ opened for business as a branch of the British Empire. Some universities and some prestigious schools needed stuff to teach and it may have made sense then. 

We are perpetuating that circumstance in some form or other, and it no longer makes sense.  

We know our schools in 2017, with our desire for career ready students, have different needs to those that existed 100 years ago.

Yet, as Will Richardson reminds us, educationalists have long seemed loathe to mess with the recipe.

From the junior school until Year 8 we are holistic in nature, but then from Year 9 we introduce discreet subjects designed to funnel students into NCEA.

The NCEA boat is a canal boat going through a narrow channel; those babies are tough to turn around once they are pointing in one direction. 

But, at some point, we have to do it.

As Seymour Papert posits, now that we have access to pretty much all there is to know, what one-billionth of one percent are we going to choose to teach in school?

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