Curriculum: Prison, garden, or gateway? Annotate with us
We’ve been thinking about curriculum in #MUS654, and have jumped ahead a bit to look at and annotate the article that is listed n the MUS654 tab between sessions 6 & 7 (and we’re only about to be on session 3 in our real life class). There was a reason for bringing this forward- because it is the central theme as well as the end goal. At the end of the semester my students will put together a 1-year curriculum, and so there is no harm in thinking in detail about what it is?
Curriculum is something that is constructed, and from my point of view constructions can be prisons, gardens, or gateways. Whatever it is, this article gives a few perspectives as they have developed over the past several decades and we’ve been adding comments. I’d like to invite you to join us via this link and make your own annotations, and to respond to the comments of others. You do have to log in to use it, but you can keep it as private as you like. Make a new email for the purpose of using it, be a random user name, and VPN your computer up for starters – you do not have to be your name. (I am my name, so you’ll know what I wrote!)
Reading about curriculum may spark your thoughts on tangential topics too… One of my students was reflecting on the article that we’ve been annotating and sent me this provocation on the concept of ‘progress’:
Just reading this interesting book [What if everything you knew about education was wrong by David Didau]and the topic of progress within education pops up and it says:
“progress is, if anything, halting, frustrating and surprising. Learning is better seen as integrative, transformative and reconstitutive- the linear metaphor of terms of movement from A to B is unhelpful”
This got me thinking about firstly, music-wise, about graded exams. Parents, teachers and students deem their successes often on how high they’ve climbed the grade ladder. When actually, as we know from past modules at uni that we have looked at, that this doesn’t nearly equate to development as a musician or person (which is the main aim right?)
What we should be doing, instead of measuring progress with a step counter (grade counter) on how many steps you’ve climbed. Is trying to get pupils to understand that learning is a process of developing “a different relationship with that they [already] know”.
But within this growth-oriented goal-obsessed culture it’s difficult to actually sit back and think what even is progress.
This book states it is merely – “a metaphor. It doesn’t really described objective reality; it provides a comforting fiction to conceal the absurdity of our lives”
Additionally, that curriculum article we read also has the same problem. Curricula are often built with the linear-stage theories in mind in order to compress and quantify learning, this is so it can be copied and reproduced within a mass selection of institutions…
INTERESTING isn’t it?
I would love you to join in the discussion. My reply was for the student to read We build the road by walking by Horton & Friere. There are so many ways to build learning. I could say a lot more, and I keep starting to- and deleting it. Sometimes it’s best to step back and let others into the conversation.
Curriculum, learning, building, together, growing, motivation,
Where you are (as in arrivals, when we see through our goals), where you’ve come, where you dream
What do you do? What do you build?