The Curriculum 21Pocket GuideGuide compiled by Paul, Megan, Nathaniel,Stephanie, Tiffany and WendyGood luck in your 21stcentury classrooms!
A New Essential Curriculum for a New TimeWe must prepare learners for their world and their time.What year are we walking into when we walk into today’s schools? Is schooljust a simulation of life in the 1980s? An age before smart phones, Internetcommunication and collaboration, digital books, cross-curricular disciplines?How do we prepare learners?Backward Design: We must begin with the end in mind. Before starting avalid activity ask: “What is it we want students to know and be able to do?”Old HabitsWe are living a school system designed by the thinking and societal issues of1893. It is based on a factory model. The model of 1893 was based uponEnglish, Civics, History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.Sound familiar?We have a century of fascinating innovation, experimentation,and exciting ideas that aren’t reflected in the current model.We don’t need reforms – we need new forms.Check out http://curriculum21.ning.com/video/rsa-animate-changingfor Mr. Dressup-style summary of this concept.Rigid Standardization is not the best optionThis is more of an American issue. Because of the pressure of standardizationand the pressure to perform, many teach to the test, not to the needsof the students.Progress:Schools that are leading the 21c wayNew Jersey – A district in NJ has developed 3 overarching educational goals.Curriculum must develop: global perspectives, 21c digital and networkingtools, and interdisciplinary linkages for real life applications.Rhode Island – A Digital Portfolio is required in order to graduate.Students include clips, podcasts, and papers; anything they want tocreate a history of their 12 years of education that proves they shouldgraduate.Hawaii – Professional Development through videoconferencing.Upgrade the CurriculumGrowth vs. Change – This isn’t a fad, or change for the sake ofchange. It is real growth out of an outdated system into a current one.New Versions of School:- The old way can be dated, inhibiting, and negative.- Some building designs isolate.- We never combine English and Math class to look at ways tocommunicate number concepts. We don’t have higher grades tutor orteach concepts to lower grades.- Grade separation is ineffective, while multi-age groups withthoughtfully grouped personnel seem to work well. What if levelsgrouped students?- Form should support function, not lead it. Our classes shouldn’tdictate that we can’t turn our eyes to the outside world.Common MythsGood old days are still good enough – We are comfortable with thesystem we grew up in. So we think applicable to others. Instead weneed keep what is timeless, cut what is dated, and create what isneeded.We’re better off if we all think alike, and not too much. This is thesimple, home-grown wisdom argument. Thinking too much is for the“elite”. Instead we need to be fearless about ideas and openly engagein discussion and debate about what should matter in subject matter.Too much creativity is dangerous, and the arts are frills – Thisgoes against brain and human learning research. We are a “HighConcept” “High Touch” society. Whether in business plan problemsolving, technology, advertising communication, conflict managementor in the arts world, creativity and collaboration are consideredcommodities.
21stCentury Assessment Types and SkillsC Curriculum Mapping: A way for teachers teaching thesame curriculum to share new assessment and update datedmaterial.How to do it right:• Collaborate with teachers.• Replace not integrate. Cut what is dated, keep what is timeless, createwhat is missing and needed.Upgrading Assessment: Step away from the test.• Many assessments stuck in 19thcentury.• Short Story writing is a great skill. Does it need to be on paper? Whatabout a short story podcast?How to Implement This in Your SchoolStep 1: Brainstorm assessment replacements: List assessments used inclassrooms in many subjects. List what today’s scientists, business people,entertainment industry, tech sector would create in workplace. I.e. podcasts,screenplay, documentaries, CAD projects, blogs, video conferences, secondlife simulations etc.Step 2: Teachers should work with IT members to identify existing types ofsoftware, hardware, internet capabilities in school, district or regional servicecenters. Explore technology such as SmartBoards, Moodle, Webcams, Ipods,Webquests, Web 2.o sites, Twitter, E-games, Blogs, etc.Step 3: Make a plan to consistently replace 1 dated assessment with a modernone. I.e. Replace drawing a chart of Peru with a WebQuest about Peru.Step 4: Share the assessment upgrades with colleagues. This is CollaborativeBrainstorming. This is where curriculum mapping can come into play.Talks about the 21c. skills we have been learning in Instruction and LearningPractices. They are NO good unless paired with 21c. assessments, output, andcurriculum content.Upgrading Content: Provocation, Invigoration, and ReplacementThis is harder than upgrading the curriculum, but is very important.Not just our methods but the very stuff we teach.What is essential and timeless? What is not essential or dated? Whatshould be created that is evident and necessary? An unendingUpdate/Review Process is the bedrock of learning.Important factors of Content Upgrade:Global perspective: Looking locally and globally in our content.Global means beyond Western Civilization.• Incorporating the whole child (Academic, Emotional,Physical, Mental)• Future career and work options (creative and imaginative)• Disciplines are dynamic not static. They interconnect andchange to reflect real world practice.Tech and media: Expand sources of content to include active andstatic materials. PowerPoint vs. Prezi (Google it if you arewondering).Complexity of content developmentally matched to age and stage oflearner.Students need to be a part of the team. They provide newperspectives – they may know technology you do not.Create a Curriculum 21 Team at your School:It needs to be intellectual,rational, and forward thinking.Formally review specific areas in each disciplineand share openly and bravely with colleagues.
Guiding questions when trying to update content:• Within the Discipline being reviewed, what content choices aredated and nonessential?• What Choices for topics, issues, problems, themes, and casestudies are timely and necessary for our learners withindisciplines?• Are the interdisciplinary content choices rich, natural, andrigorous?Examples of why we need a change in each discipline:Social studies – we view the world through the eyes of those of 1569. Themap we all know is quite distorted. Google the Gall-Peters Projection.Science - we neglect important areas of science. For $200 schools couldbuild a Dobsonian telescope. Students could study astronomy andappreciate our place in the world. Also base learning around problem-solving, because content memorization is ineffective and quickly outdated.Health and Phys. Ed – learning how to play a sport ignores huge parts ofour physical existence. Physical Education needs more. One school uses“Five for Life,” which consists of cardio-respiratory endurance, muscularstrength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Imagine agym class with all of those aspects! Yoga day and basketball day.Contemporary English Language and Literature - some of thegreatest industries that require writing and other literary skills includethe film industry, television industry, advertising industry, andjournalism. Why do we not incorporate the skills needed in theseindustries? Editing strategies, creative note-taking, and the ever-ignored portion of English Literature: Speech. Why do we notconsistently analyze the output of these industries, especially as theyrelate to literature? (A Book to Film class, a screenplay and scriptanalysis class, and “writing for documentary” class).World Language Instruction – the 4 languages spoken most in theworld are Mandarin, Spanish, English, and Arabic. What languageswere offered at your school?Mathematics as a Language: Reason, do not memorize! Alsoincorporation of basic life math skills should be introduced beforehigh school. We all may not find the derivative of an equation afterhigh school but we will definitely find opportunity to use financialliteracy, entrepreneurialism, and budget design.The Arts: Where are the modern forms of expression in the arts?Incorporate technical and digital tools to communicate artistically.Remember School of Rock? Their final performance? The graphicand light show that accompanied the band performance? (YouTube itif you don’t know).Lesson Plan Support Site: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org
Curricular Destiny: Schedules, Grouping Patterns,and the Use of SpaceThe Structure of Time: Schedules - curriculum is nested within long- andshort-term schedules.Against Graduation as We Know It - Why do we need school to run for 13years to say that someone has graduated? This structure is the ultimate seat-timeproblem. If someone can sit through these 13 years rather than, say, 10 or 14then they have earned their diploma.Time as Currency: Periods, Blocks, Modules, Minutes - Consider this timecurrency question: what kind of time do I need to help my students edit a firstdraft? This is a question that we as teachers want to ask, but far too often weinstead use reversed thinking and wonder, “what can I stuff into the 40 minutesI have for math?’Heroic School Schedules - The educators at these schoolsoffer a tailored curriculum for each learner. There areno bells and no 45-minute blocks of time.Thinking and Planning Outside the Scheduling Box - One of the mostpromising new forms of learning experiences is the Virtual Learning Magnet,which matches learning time with engaging and purposeful tasks, offers self-selection on the part of the learner and the teacher, and connects cyberspacewith physical space.The Grouping of Students - To the extent possible, we should group studentsto best suit their needs so that form follows function. Groupings in school canbe thought of in three fundamental categories: Institutional grouping,instructional grouping, and independent grouping.The Need for Multiple Affiliations - Personnel should consider multiple typesof affiliations and groupings as well as the duration of such groups to providevariety and perspective in their work. The affiliations should not be random buttargeted and strategic.The Meeting Habit -Instead of meeting by departments, what if we were tomeet around problems?New Versions of Physical and Virtual Space - Where a school islocated and how it sets up internal structures determine itspossibilities. Most schools were not really built for children, let alonefor learning.Sketching Program Blueprints for New School Versions - OurCurriculum 21 teams should always be thinking about new versions ofschool by asking whom we are serving, and how can we best meet theneeds of our specific learners.Five Socio-Technology Trends That ChangeEverything in Learning and TeachingSocial Production is radically redistributing the powers of productionand knowledge creation and generating a model for learning to do.Social Networks. Social networking technologies are powerful tools forenhancing the process of learning to be, of defining our identities. Digitalsocial networks are now an essential part of the experience of everyoneunder the age of 20. Digital social networks may be the biggest gamechanger in learning and what it means to be educated.A Semantic Web will become the model for learning to know in the nextinnovation phase of the Internet. A semantic web will dramaticallytransform our relationship to new knowledge, our ability to use newknowledge for purposes of creativity, and our definition of what it meansto be educated.Media Grids are three-dimensional representations of space usingcomputing power and the Internet.The New Zoo of Nonlinear Learning. The new zoo enabled by biology,a new mother science for a new era of nonlinear learning, should give allthose concerned with the direction of learning and teaching pause forthought. Deep thought, and even deeper questions.From Cathedrals to Bazaars - What we thought we knew aboutlearning and teaching, and the cathedral-like, elegant, top-down, complexsystems we designed to support formal processes of learning and teachingjust may not be the relevant model.
A Classroom as Wide as the WorldThe world in which today’s students will graduate is fundamentally differentfrom the world in which we grew up. The quickening pace of globalizationover the past 20 years – driven by profound technological changes, the riseof China and India, and the accelerating pace of scientific discovery - hasproduced a whole new world. We must prepare students for a world wherethe opportunities for success require the ability to compete and cooperate ona global scale.Five global trends are transforming the context for the future generation.These trends are related to economics, science and technology,demographics, security and citizenship, and education.What are the implications of these global trends?Certainly education as usual won’t do. We need to transform our learningsystems to equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need tosucceed in this new global era. Our national goal should be that all studentsmust graduate from high school university – ready and globally competent,prepared to compete, connect, and cooperate with their peers around theworld.We need to…- Integrate international content into all curriculum areas- Emphasize the learning of world languages.- Harness technology to tap global information sources- Create international collaborations.Making Learning IrresistibleMusic is not about the notes. Language arts is not about the letters andthe words. Math is not about the numbers and the symbols. And schoolis not about grades.The whole is substantially more relevant, more meaningful, and moresignificant than the sum of the individual parts. Make no mistake, theparts are important. They are just not the goal.How do we move from an emphasis on remembering facts for a test onFriday to thinking critically about the larger issues that thosedisconnected facts can only dimly reflect as stand-alone pieces ofinformation?If students were to become more authenticallyengaged in the art of learning, the classroomwould have to be more participatory, asstudents had to get up out of their mental seatsand produce something at least as importantas a grade.This product had to demonstrate not just content knowledge, but anunderstanding that ultimately makes a contribution.Students would take more ownership of their learning; their interest inlearning would create inevitable desire to learn more. The studentswould want to create something in which they would take pride andwant everyone to see.The role of the teachers is not really to teach students what buttons topush to make the software or hardware do this or that.The most important role of the educator is to keep students focused onthe point, to keep them centered in meaningful curriculum contentand message, to guide and facilitate the creation process.
Media Literacy (ML) Many teachers are not proficient teaching ML. Few educators have had effective training teaching ML A growing “digital disconnect.” The English Teachers Companion (Burke 2003) sees incorporatingmedia in the classroom as vital for teachings future. Teachers have the opportunity and responsibility to use ML as one ofour key strategies for helping student develop critical thinking skills. Educational Org. Partnerships: Urge schools to teach skills inCollaboration and Teamwork, Making Global Connections, CriticalThinking, and Media Literacy. Teachers in every school in one state were trained to incorporatestandards-based ML lesson plans into the classroom. (hope floats)Critical Thinking and ML:“While more young people have access to the internet and other mediathan any generation in history, they do not necessarily possess the ethics,the intellectual skills, or the predisposition to critically analyze andevaluate their relationship with these technologies or the informationthey encounter. Good eye/hand coordination and the ability to multitaskare not substitutes for critical thinking”David Considine (2002)Corporations depend on media-illiterate young people to advertise theirclothes to their peers.Five core concepts of ML;1) All media messages are constructed.2) Media messages are constructed using a creative language withits own rules.3) Different people experience the same media messagedifferently.4) Media have embedded values and points of view.5) Most media messages are organized to gain profit and orpower.“At the heart of media literacy is the principle of inquiry”- Elizabeth ThomanCorresponding critical thinking questions:• Who created or paid for the message? (authorship,producer)• Why was it created? (purpose)• Who is the message designed to reach? (targetaudience)• How might different people from me understandthis message differently? (audiences negotiatingmeaning)• How does the message get my attention; in whatways is the message credible? (techniques,methods)• What values, lifestyles, points of view are includedor excluded and why? Where can I get moreinformation, different perspectives, or verify theinformation? (research, critical thinking)• What can I do with this information (decisionmaking)Media Literacy: What does it mean?The problem with the phrase “media literacy” is that it does meandifferent things to different people.See the definitions for ML on page 141.Having media literacy incorporated into the classrooms• Reduces the effects of violence, aggression and anti-social behaviour.• ML can help help enhance high school girls’ self-acceptance.• ML increased childrens understanding of thepersuasive intent of ads for alcohol & tobacco.•Benefits of Education in Media Literacy• It helps teachers meet state/prov teaching standards.• It allows teachers to bring familiar youth-media cultureinto the classroom.
Classroom Applications of Media LiteracyEnglish/Language Arts• Teachers should be familiar not only with new media, but alsowith the popular culture of the students they teach.• Lesson plans can be found at www.readwritethink.org• Students love film, and studying how films are created is anotherway for teachers to teach media literacy.• Numerous websites allow students to upload their school-createdproductions and share their work with peers.• Lesson Plans for Creating Media-Rich Classrooms. (Christel &Sullivan, 2007)Social Studies• The invention and use of photography is a prominent example of anappropriate focus for the rise of mass media in history.• Like it or not, young people learn a lot about sex from the media.What they understand is often skewed by Hollywood and othermedia producers.• Advertisers have known for years that “sex sells.”Mathematics• Numbers abound in news. Math teachers should be encouraged toconsider incorporating these news reports in their instruction.• Teachers can engage their students by helping them understand howthese numbers are generated and how they are used.• Math in the media web site:www.frankwbaker.com/math_in_the_media.htmScience• Every teacher who uses a video, a CD-ROM, or the internet as partof instruction should ask questions such as this: How does theselection of images by the producer shape our understanding ofscience concepts?• *look at final thoughts on page 151.Digital Portfolios and Curriculum Maps“The process of collecting, selecting, and reflecting on the work in aportfolio is what makes it powerful. The portfolio is a representation ofwhat students know and are able to do, and the opportunity to present thatwork to an audience of peers, parents, and teachers shows that the worldcan take the students work seriously.”- David Niguidulahttp://curriculum21.ning.com/profiles/blogs/wrapping-my-mind-aroundValuable resources:• Digital Portfolios and Curriculum Mapping" Chapter inCurriculum21 (Heidi Hayes Jacobs, ASCD, 2010) by DavidNiguidula EchicaELearning (Wiki)• Jeff Utechts Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios PDF (.pdf)• Primary Reflection Forms (GoogleDocs Document)• Chrissy Hellyers Portfolio Prompts (Elementary School• Dr. Helen Barretts Electronic Portfolio Site
Three Levels of Developing a Digital PortfolioEducating for a Sustainable FutureSustainability isn’t just about saving the rainforest. According to authorJaimie P. Cloud, there are other things we should be doing to ensure ourchildren are prepared to create a sustainable future:• Cultural Preservation and Transformation – encouragingstudents to share and take ownership culture, developing the abilityto discern with others what cultural traditions and practices to keepand which ones to change or adapt as they create a sustainablecommunity.• Responsible Local/Global citizenship – knowing andunderstanding rights and responsibilities and assuming bothleadership and participation roles in the local and globalcommunity• The Dynamics of Systems and Change – Learning to recognizethe dynamic nature of complex living things and change over time,seeing patterns and applying the tools of system dynamics andsystem thinking in their daily lives and to make choices for thefuture.• Sustainable Economics – learning to produce and consume inways that support the health of the financial, social and naturalcapital.• Healthy commons – sharing responsibility for the things we alldepend on (air, trust, heritage sites, libraries, public health, etc.)• Living within Ecological/Natural Laws and Principles –learning to see themselves as interdependent with each other, allliving things and natural systems.• Inventing and Affecting the Future – using vision, imaginationand intention to design and create the future they envision.• Multiple Perspectives – drawing from perspectives, lifeexperiences and cultures of others and co-create shared andevolving visions.• A Sense of Place – a strong connection to the place they live in, anunderstanding of its history and an ability to contribute to itscontinued health.
Power Down or Power Up?We are quick to ban new technologies in the classroom. But what if weembraced them and used them to make a more authentic learning experiencefor our students? What if, instead of making technology taboo, we teachstudents to use it right and responsibly?Author Alan November suggests that teachers need to rethink control in theirclassrooms, and find ways to empower their students through technology.Following are some of his recommendations for helping find ways forstudents to be contributors in what he calls “The Digital Farm:”- Tutorial Designers – Kids recordthemselves solving problems based onmaterial discussed in class, then createscreencasted tutorials with their footageand their explanations. All of the tutorials areavailable to every student, so thatstruggling students can review other people’stutorials online to help themunderstand concepts or problems. Uses www.techsmith.com , www.Jingproject.com and www.Mathtrain.tv.- Official scribes – Instead of everyone taking notes every day, the classassigns a “scribe” to take notes that day on the computer. All notes arepublished on the school blog. Uses Google Docs.- Researchers – Making the class computer the Official Research Station,where one student each day is responsible for finding answers to any of thequestions that come up… including the teacher’s! They can even use Googleto create custom search engines!- Collaboration Coordinators – Using Skype, a collaboration team isresponsible for establishing and maintaining working relationships over theinternet with classrooms around the world.- Contributors to Society – Learning about issues affecting countriesaround the world through social responsibility websites likewww.kiva.org, and finding ways to make a difference inthe lives of others. For instance, making micro-loans toentrepreneurs in developing countries.- Curriculum Reviewers – this team can create material forcontinuous review by making podcasts that everyone candownload into their MP3 players from a website.(www.bobsprankle.com/podcasts/0506/rm208vodcast.mov)Creating Learning Connectionswith Today’s Tech-Savvy StudentStudents DEMAND a change!Today’s students are demanding a change in the classroom because oftheir ability to gather information faster than any previous generation.In order to make authentic connections with students, we must changeour strategies to fit this new age of students.Technology is constantly changing and we need to learn to adapt andchange with it and find new ways to incorporate it into our classrooms.One of the common causes of boredom in the classroom is student’sperception that the methods of how the curriculum is delivered to themare irrelevant to how they learn.Teachers face the challenge of making standardized curriculum richand relevant to students who have instant access to anything they wantto learn on their own!It is a crucial time to begin looking at what is truly driving change inthe 21stcentury classroom: the STUDENTS!
New and Old Technologies for the 21stcentury classroom:• Computer projector• Wireless mouse and keyboard• Interactive whiteboard (Smartboard)• Wireless tablet (students are more responsive to this digital writingsoftware as opposed to regular pens and paper).• Student response system (this is the system that gives students aremote control device that allows them to answer questions that theteacher has programmed into the system).• Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and many more social networking sitesare already being used by the students in our classrooms, so why notuse them for education purposes?• MP3 players, IPODs, and cellphones!All of these electronic devices can be used effectively in the classroom.Students can record Podcasts, or teachers can record them for their studentsto download on these devices.It is evident that we are living in a time of GREAT change in education.“It is the greatest time in history to be in a classroom!”It Takes Some Getting Used To:Rethinking Curriculum for the 21stCenturyChanges are not going to come easily, andsome will face quite a bit of resistance.We need to remember that our students areALREADY in the 21stcentury and they arewaiting for the teachers and the curriculumto catch up to them.Changing curriculum is about changingyour mind first and then forming some newhabits and routines as you abandon old ones.It is important to remember that knowledge is a CONSTRUCTIVEprocess rather than a finding. It’s a constant process that involvesbuilding on previously acquired knowledge.Humans don’t GET ideas, they MAKE ideas.We must change from external evaluation to self-assessment. Thinkabout it: are we educating students for a life of testsor for the tests of life?We must constantly remind ourselves that the ULTIMATE purpose ofevaluation is to have students learn to become self-evaluative(assessment should provide ongoing feedback to the learner).The teacher’s role needs to shift from that of the information providerto one of a catalyst, model, coach, innovator, researcher, andcollaborator with the learner throughout the learning process.Teachers are FUTURISTS. We are preparing students for a future thatdoes not even EXIST yet!