A Modest Curriculum

Much like the essay marker who suggests 10 things you should have included, but offers no suggestions for what to exclude, so most of us approach school curriculums. We have ideas about what to add but not about what to cut.

So here is my suggestion for a modest curriculum.

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Maths
  4. Learning a marketable skill (e.g. web design, painting a house, bookkeeping etc)
  5. Opportunities to learn other non-compulsory non-curriculum things (with the hope that students will learn to learn, learn to love learning for its own sake and perhaps develop deep knowledge and skills in one or two areas that interest them).

To believe this you will need to believe other things: that most children like to learn but compulsory learning with standardised tests kills most learning; that conformity is overrated and different students need to learn different things; and that our curriculum and the bureaucracy that grows around it is slowly suffocating our schools, students and teachers.

But change is unlikely, a modest curriculum is too ambitious.