Saturday, May 4, 2019

Real World Curriculum

Almost two years ago, in July of 2017, I crafted a "Real World" curriculum. It must have rained or been outrageously hot for a few days in a row for me to have put this all down. It was sparked by ongoing conversations with students of two types (the conversations, not the students).

Many grade 12s regularly complained that they didn't learn anything useful in all their years of schooling. They're about to move out of their homes, and they have no idea how to do anything required for basic survival. They're terrified and unprepared for the next stage in their lives. The other line of discussion is more varied, but it includes the many little things students haven't picked up over the years, like the existence of the residential school system in Canada or what makes a stupid argument verifiably unreasonable or not understanding the implications of their view that all taxes should be abolished or having no idea of the components of a basic sentence or how the legal system works in their own country. We don't let students graduate without basic literacy and numeracy skills, but I also wonder if we should delay graduation for basic knowledge and life skills.

So I started with a list of things they didn't know and skills they didn't have, and expanded it into a curriculum proposal.

Then I did nothing with it because the whole thing is ridiculous and nothing will every change. We're all about maths and sciences and technology. What else matters?

But things are changing - mainly for worse, but some for the better. A recent article about one school teaching life skills - "adulting classes" - has provoked some interesting staff discussions.

So here's my lengthy and unwieldy proposal from a couple year back. It involves one course each year replacing a few other courses, but it could easily replace that horrible mandatory online course idea!


Anonymous said...

I love this!

Marie Snyder said...