What Students Will Learn In The Future

,  by , 05/29/2014 full posting at http://www.teachthought.com/learning/what-students-will-learn-in-the-future/

what-students-will-learn-in-the-future

A lot is implied in the content areas we choose to disperse the world through.

That’s essentially what classes and content areas are–perspectives to make sense of the world. If the world changes, should they change?

These words and phrases that we now associate with schools, teachers, and assignments reflect our priority as a culture. This is the information and thinking we value and want our children to understand. It also implies what we think is useful, presumably (unless we’re intentionally teaching content that we think is use-less).

(…)

What kind of changes might we expect in a perfect-but-still-classroom-and-content-based world? What might students learn in the future?

Of course any response at all is pure speculation, but if we draw an arc from classical approaches to the Dewey approach to what might be next–factoring in technology change, social values, and criticisms of the current model–we may get a pretty decent answer. This assumes, of course a few things (all of which may be untrue):

1. We’ll still teach content

2. That content will be a mix of skills and knowledge

3. Said skills and knowledge will be thematically arranged into “content areas”

Note that these classes are arranged as a hierarchy, starting with content for younger children (around 6-8 years old), all the way to university age (18-24 years old). All classes would (speculatively) be taught to all students of all ages, with changes in priority available for personalized learning based on age, local values, etc.

It’s also important to note that none of this means that in a system like this we wouldn’t teach math, science, literature, etc., but rather that we might reframe how and why we teach math, science, literature, etc., all while merging them and bringing in new thinking, skills, and ideas into truly modernized content areas.

The Content Of The Future: 8 Content Areas For Tomorrow’s Students

1. Literacy

Big Idea: Reading and writing in physical & digital spaces

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas included: Grammar, Word Parts, Greek & Latin Roots, The Writing Process, Fluency; all traditional content areas

2. Patterns

Big Idea: How and why patterns emerge everywhere under careful study

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Grammar, Literature, Math, Geometry, Music, Art, Social Studies, Astronomy

3. Systems

Big Idea: The universe—and every single thing in it–is made of systems, and systems are made of parts.

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Grammar, Law, Medicine, Science, Math, Music, Art, Social Studies, History, Anthropology, Engineering, Biology; all traditional content areas by definition (they’re systems, yes?)

4. Design

Big Idea: Marrying creative and analytical thought

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Literature, Creativity, Art, Music, Engineering, Geometry

5. Citizenship

Big Idea: Responding to interdependence

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Literature, Social Studies, History; Civics, Government, Theology

6. Data

Big Idea: Recognizing & using information in traditional & non-traditional forms

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Math, Geometry, Science, Engineering, Biology;

7. Research

Big Idea: Identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing diverse ideas

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: English, Math, Science; Humanities

8. Philosophy

Big Idea: The nuance of thought

Examples of traditional ideas and academic content areas include: Ethics, Literature/Poetry, Art, Music; Humanities

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