Isn't Curriculum Something We Want to Get Away From?

Career Advice for the New Economy
CC BY 2.0 @SylviaDuckworth

It's hard to believe: people never talk curriculum at educational gatherings.

Hard to believe, because, from the debate over Common Core, you'd think educators would be up in arms about how bad the current curricula are, or else how good, or how to make them better or to get rid of them altogether.

Yet, in sixteen edcamps (teacher gatherings), we can't recall one session where the main discussion was of curriculum.

Plenty of conversations echo ivory-tower criticisms that 'tests take away students' creativity and teachers' innovative opportunities'. But no one points to specific parts of curriculum and asks how to send them to their grave.

Yes. ... And, No.

Teens—and Teachers—need powerful curricula more than ever.

Education's Dirty Little Secret Overworked and time-stretched teachers are relying on Google and Pinterest for lesson plans

Project-Based Learning Needs More Learning "in almost every PBL model that I’ve observed—Summit Public Schools being the main exception—little or nothing is said about the acquisition of knowledge."


"in almost every PBL model that I’ve observed...little or nothing is said about the acquisition of knowledge."

This is not a curriculum for 2018.


Here's the Thing:

When We

Let Them Choose from a Much Larger Set of Options


Let Teens "Level Up" on Knowledge

(Not "Come Up Short" on Grades)


Bring In A Community of Expert Adults to Help

We Have to Know When and How
Teens Are Leveling Up.
—As Do They.


Help Make Sure Every Experience Accumulates to High School Well-Spent.

Does it develop personal connections?

Does it Allow Extended Focus and Engagement?

It Must Dramatically Expand Literacy/ Vocabulary

Does It Give Them A New Framework of Analysis?

Does It Introduce & Connect Them to Future Paths of Learning?

Does It Excite Their Passion?

"If you're not building knowledge, youre not teaching reading."

In high school, it's all about domain-specific knowledge.

Measuring Text Complexity: Three Factors - Common Core State Standards
Appendix A (Complexity bands described on page 10. Examples from page 11-16.)

Text Complexity Analysis Worksheet (Aspen Inst.)


Reading Foundational skills

Page 17-22 of Appendix A

It Won't Happen Without Your Help

A Day in High School 2015

Sign the Manifesto

To learn much more,...

Chapter five describes over thirty-five unique way teens can take on more relevant learning.

The beta version of the book is available for a fraction of the final publication price.
Let us know how to improve the book for teens everywhere.


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Hackable High Schools
ed at hackablehighschools.com