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Seriously…what is CURRICULUM…Seriously? [Part FOUR of ???]

1. How do you know you were telling the truth when you answered each question? 2. What "evidence" can you offer to demonstrate that you "walk-your-beliefs"? 3. How do you know that this "evidence" represents what you say it does?And, you thought the survey gave you a headache! Now, I am not challenging anybody's integrity here. I just want us to be very clear - after all:
  1. People are not always “conscious” of their own beliefs and it is these unconscious elements that actually determine how people think and feel - and "act".

  2. Human beings do not always tell the “truth” (sometimes for very good reason - have you seen the movie "The Invention of Lying" or answered your partner honestly when she asks "Do I look fat in this?").

For example, how a school can openly claim that it draws strength from constructivist principles while its teachers “drill and kill” students with endless pages of exercises and assess them with high-stakes tests of discrete knowledge. This could also be the reason why so many vision and mission statements look so similar while the organisations that write them operate in such different ways – and why so many mission statements end up being little more than “wall decoration”.
Q12. Choose the BEST answer. The best “learning” institutions "do business" in the following way: a)   create substantive change in individual learners b)   engage learners in the learning process as full partners, assuming primary responsibility for their own choices c)   create and offer as many options for learning as possible d)   assist learners in forming and participating in collaborative and active learning activities e)    define the roles of learning facilitators by the needs of the learners f)    succeed only when improved and expanded learning can be documented for its learners g)   create and nurture an organisational culture that is open and responsive to change and learning h)    all of the above.
Q13.  Choose the BEST answer. The most effective “learning” institutions "do business" in the following way: a)  have a “living” mission and “lived” educational philosophy (rather than wall decoration) b)  exhibit an unshakeable focus on student learning in everything they do c)  build environments adapted for educational enrichment (not the egos of administrators) d)  establish clearly marked pathways to student success (and make sure students know about these) e)  walk-their-talk in terms of having an improvement-oriented ethos f)  develop shared responsibility for educational quality and student success across the whole institution g)  all of the above.
Q14. Choose the BEST answer. A meaningful curriculum rEvolution has the best chance of success in an institution that “understands”: a)   it is time for a “real shift” from teaching to learning. b)   an effective curriculum requires the development of a set of graduate attributes (explicit skills, attitudes, and abilities) as well as knowledge. c)   the other side of the effective curriculum coin is appropriate assessment procedures that focus on assessment-for-learning as well as assessment-of-learning. d)  a curriculum rEvolution also requires a system for rewarding transformative teaching and learning facilitation, encouraging discussion of pedagogy and providing transformative learning opportunities for educators and academics (as a priority). e)   curriculum renewal happens best within a supportive  institutional climate that fosters responsive collegiality. f)   progress in curriculum renewal requires that we establish better linkages between quality improvement & learning. g)  all of the above are needed! Is this how your institution "does business"? Of course, there is no "blueprint" for success in curriculum rEvolution and renewal – but these questions (and the ones from yesterday) should give you a better "map of the landscape" you are planning to enter and the type of "objections" you are likely to face...

Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.

Don Williams, Jr. These questions have been developed over many years and at the risk of forgetting some of the people who "learned" me, I would like to acknowledge the work of Terry O’Banion and the League for Innovation, the efforts of the Project DEEP team and George Kuh and (as ever) the faculty from Alverno College – the pioneers of the “curriculum perspective”. A shout-out to my "peeps" - Barr and Tagg (my "paradigm guys"), Harvey and Newton (my "quality guys"), Peter Block (my "question guy"), Edward Schein (my "organisation" guy) and Carl Roger's mother (what a wonderful woman)! Also, to George Lucas – for making the “prequel trilogy” (even though it took him 16 years after the release of the trilogy’s final film). Not sure when I’ll get round to mine…

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