Our Brains Extended

Here is another great article by Marc Prensky that I picked up on (the “Connected Learning” feed in the sidebar is a great resource for ideas in education – through Scoop.it by Stephanie Sandifer). Again it focuses on some of the things that we have been talking about at DEB specifically in relation to a new curriculum. He asks how could we rethink this

for the 21st century, symbiotically combining human strengths with the most powerful technology strengths?  We might begin by eliminating as separate classes all the subjects we now teach: math, English, science, social studies. All those subjects have become bloated and outdated and—far more important—are the wrong way to focus our kids’ education in the 21st century.

He goes on to mention 3 subjects that would be replacements. I summarise these below, but suggest you read the whole article

Subject 1: Effective Thinking

Effective Thinking would start in the early grades with simple mathematical and logical thinking and a focus on obvious flaws (such as assuming something is always true because you’ve seen a few examples). Young kids would use illustrative stories (like “The Emperor’s New Clothes”) and well-designed games (like The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis) as a basis for learning strategic and logical thinking. Technology would be introduced from the start as a “thinking extender” through tools like simulation that show students the consequences of their actions in a variety of contexts and circumstances.

Subject 2: Effective Action

Effective Action would begin by fostering Steven Covey’s seven (now eight) habits of highly effective people—Be proactive, Begin with the end in mind, Put first things first, and so on—from the earliest grades. It would include increasingly complex challenges in persistence, entrepreneurship, and project management and focus on creative ways to break down barriers and get things done.

Subject 3: Effective Relationships

Effective Relationships would foster students’ high-level communication skills: one-on-one, in teams, in peer groups, in communities, and in work groups. It would focus on relationships in both the real and virtual worlds and teach students to negotiate a modern world in which both real and virtual are equally important. This subject would also include ethics, citizenship, and politics.

He then goes on to talk about:

Culminating Work: Effective Accomplishment

Effective Accomplishment, taken every year by all students, would enable each one to establish a growing portfolio of completed individual and group projects.

We have been looking at the above as objectives, but looking more how this might fit into personalised learning and less about a current system of following a curriculum. The end result would hopefully be the same.