I just finished reading the blog post “Everything you know about curriculum might be wrong. Really.” by Grant Wiggins. It was really fascinating. In his post, Wiggins explains why we need to reevaluate the way that we define curriculum and the meaning of education. To do this, we have to flip our thinking around: knowledge does not lead to performance, but rather performance leads to knowledge. Thus Wiggins argues that education should be focused on the present and future, not the past. As a part of this, learning is done through doing, rather than rote learning. He argues that if we adopted this progressive form of curriculum, our students would be actively engaged in their education and become better 21st century citizens. In essence, it is the solution to our current education problems.
Wiggins gave a lot of real-life examples and quotes from educational researchers, all of which really resonated with me. When I as a student, I often wondered why I was in school. How was all of this “knowledge” going to help me? What I wanted more than anything was just to be out in the world–traveling, exploring, learning from my experiences.
As an educator, adopting this kind of progressive curriculum would be challenging, but very meaningful and rewarding because I could learn and grow with my students. It would motivate and inspire me to be more creative and innovative with my lessons, instead of passively teaching the same material again and again.
I wholeheartedly believe that if we teach our students how to grow with the constant evolution of current knowledge and apply what they learn to future problems and needs, our students will learn everything they need to be successful in the 21st century work force and create a better world.