If you were designing a curriculum from scratch that reflected the world that young people will need to thrive and survive within how would you go about it?
Those that have attempted this task have found that the traditional curriculum which is built around subject knowledge and stressing the differences in learning rather than unifying around common themes is largely redundant.
The curriculum that is appropriate for the future is one which concentrates on the outcomes of learning in the life of the student. Key subject knowledge remains important but not the defining factor of the curriculum.
I like to think of the future curriculum as built around three core elements: the ABC.
Attitudes for learning and living an effective life
Behaviours which maximise the ability to learn in an independent and autonomous way
Competences in key communications, team working, data handling, interpersonal relationships and presentation and listening areas.
The best expression of such a curriculum that I am aware of is Opening Minds.
Significantly, a major shift in such a cultural change in curriculum is the move from the quality control element of the current subject based curriculum where the expectation of many young people is that they will be considered educational failures at the end of their statutory education. We cannot, as a society afford, to use an industrial metaphor, such natural wastage of talent.
In a skills and competency led curriculum the objective is to equip young people to deploy relevant attitudes, skills and competences across the length and breadth of their lives – this is a quality assurance model in which all reach the required standard.
Research elsewhere is coming to similar conclusions as this infographic via ETML shows: A Very Good Checklist for Assessing 21st Century Learning Skills