Plane thoughts – part 2

I recently participated in a meeting for the EdCan Network, part of the Canadian Education Association, in Mississauga. I knew we’d be talking about some heavy issues regarding education in Ontario, especially K-12 education. I spent my time on the flights down and back writing some thoughts I’d been wrestling with. I’m planning to share those thoughts in small posts for a little while. Here’s the second entry.

Our curriculum is a Least Common Multiple curriculum. Consider all of the different factors that are components of the complete educations for each child. Our exhaustive curriculum tries to include all of those factors in every child’s education. This is unnecessary and inefficient, and frustrating for the students. This is the Just-In-Case curriculum.

We need a Greatest Common Divisor curriculum. We should identify the factors that are in common between every child’s educational needs and include only those in the compulsory curriculum. This minimalist approach would leave room for children to explore and specialize without wasting their time on irrelevancies. This is the Just-In-Time curriculum.

Consider how schools would be different with narrow curricula and expansive opportunities. A small core and room to explore.


One thought on “Plane thoughts – part 2

  1. Tell me about it. I’m trying to teach MAP4C for the first time, to adult learners in an eight-week class. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to make the trig parts relevant to them. I’m trying to teach it in a way that bolsters an overall problem-solving mentality rather than a focus on the nuts-and-bolts of solving triangles—because I genuinely believe that even people who aren’t becoming engineers can benefit from thinking, at least for a few days, about the world in this way.

    Nevertheless, their skill levels are just so low. I’m not going to push them through how to do sine law and cosine law just because it’s in the curriculum. I’d rather focus on more basic ideas and let them chew these over, then move on and spend more time on things like the financial and data management expectations that they actually do need.

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