TED Conversations

Ronald Vallecer

This conversation is closed.

Who wants an open source curriculum based Education?

Inspired by Clay Shirky's recent open source talk, I thought about having an educational curriculum that is open sourced to students. Wouldn't it be exciting if students are taught to take ownership of their own learning journey. No more vague and unhelpful teacher feedback, instead students come into educational institutions knowing that their perspective counts and that they are in charge of their learning. Conceptual.understanding at their pace and language.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 26 2012: The education system should not be at the mercy of trendsetters as in pop culture. There is something about authority and curriculum that makes the present education system work. It is not perfect; it has its failings; and teachers are usually blamed for most of its failings.

    But students who perform poorly will always have someone or something or the system to blame. The present system has had success stories, and also its fair share of failures.
    And so will whatever rosy idea that we have in mind now.

    If there is to be a game there has to be rules and there has to be an authority. The idea of students to be in charge of their learning means that assessment is on the student's term; and we all know that assessment needs to have a criteria and an authority.

    Nothing good comes easy; and so if we are looking for a system that would be approved by students because of its comfort and convenience; and that allows students to get stuck in their comfort zones; we are about to produce a worse educational system.
    • thumb
      Sep 26 2012: I think we need more teachers like Stephen Ritz: http://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_ritz_a_teacher_growing_green_in_the_south_bronx.html
    • Sep 26 2012: I think Feyisayo hit the bulls-eye of my proposition, authority is a taught concept, although more often than not, the concept of authority is part of a hidden curriculum. That is why I like the idea of an open-source curriculum, concepts like Authority will only be scrutinised in a paradigm where everyone can have an input. What is authority? How is it best taught? You can't just condition students to fearing or obeying their teachers without jeopardising their creativity or critical thinking. Isn't the call for a revolution of how education is brought about from the need to have a more critical, whole-rounded learner?

      In my paradigm, curriculums will still exist, but the discourse of what should be prioritise, the scope and sequence, that would be the bone of contention, that which I believe will attract great input that will lead to improvement. Students from the onset will be taught through scaffolds that aim to ultimately get them to take control of their own learning.

      Actually, a lot of what I am saying is already happening within the IB classroom where students are taught with the aim of conceptual understanding in mind. I just want to take it a step further and say that all this data should be made available to all the stakeholders. Inquiring minds are engaged and proactively encourage to take action.

      As to the assertion that in this system, students might get stuck in their comfort zones, minds that are engaged do not have comfort zones. I think the biggest fallout if this form of educational system is even to be conceived of, is that teachers, parents, all the stakeholders of education, will be forced to rethink everything they know. Gone will be the days when a teacher can just recycle knowledge, or give minimum feedback like a tick and a cross, in this paradigm, if one where to be a teacher, he or she would have to equipped with the conceptual understanding of a lesson and will truly have to engage their students.
      • Sep 27 2012: What if the learner was the subject and the expert of the curriculum? What if the learner is the authority? What if the curriculum was developed around the learner's personal or professional interests? Or the problems that needed to be solved were "How can I find a job?", "What does success mean to me?" and "How can I be successful?" Personalization has been realized in almost every other sector, accept Education.
        • Sep 27 2012: Learner and Teacher are roles within a design. In order for a learner to take charge of his or her own learning, he she must first be taught various pedagogies effective for different learning processes. Student curriculum control must still be guided for learning to be effective, if curriculum were a car, there is a huge difference between a driver and an expert mechanic. If we are expected to be lifelong independent learners, shouldn't we be both expert drivers and mechanic.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.