Funny or tragic. You judge. But get the picture in your head of a group of sixty-year-old men and women in a conference room in the capital city of your country or region deciding what ten-year-old girls and boys are supposed to learn in mathematics in the second week of October of the fourth grade.
It’s called designing a curriculum and this has been a mainstay of school design for generations and generations. I certainly understand the concept – it’s about transferring the culture from one generation to the next. We want to pass on our history, literature, handicrafts, sports, art and understanding of nature to our children.
Fine. But in this day and age with information expanding at exponential rates, are we that sure of what we need to know to be able to deal with the future? Yes, there are some basics, but there are also hundreds and thousands of subjects to learn that may be important that can’t possibly fit into a curriculum, but may be very important for our futures.
Pre-schoolers and small children are excellent at asking questions and we don’t always try to limit what or how they learn. The curriculum, however, is designed for exclusion, not inclusion, limiting what is to be learned.
Ask, just a little more often, “what do you want to learn?” and give just a bit more space to let the learners explore.