Experimental classes within the curriculum.

Written on
December 1, 2018
by
Peter Hostrawser

I often ask myself why is it that curriculum in secondary education is so behind the real worlds’ industry needs and standards?  I have come up with a possible reason.  There is simply too much red tape to change or introduce a new class within a department or school in traditional systems.  For example, if we wanted to put in place a social media marketing class to run, the paper work and timeframe to do so is on average over a year.  That process requires a new class form which starts through the school’s administration, then makes it way through the entire districts administration, then to the board of education, then back through again.  It is a slow and tedious process for creating new updated curriculum.  There is hardly ever any student voice in the matter.  Mostly scholars and academic minds are the only decision makers in that process.  There are no creatives or design thinkers.   I have an idea to change that.  It involves educators AND students working and learning together.  It involves a class made for designing school curriculum.  

Here’s how it would work.  On the books for the school’s course guides there would be a class called Designing Classes or Experimental Education.  The students who would be interested in this would sign up for the class.   Students will be challenged to create a class or coursework  around a subject they would be interested in or out of a need they see.  The first concept taught in the class would be the agile environment.  Students would learn the Scrum project management method in order to learn how to move fast in their learning with creativity and design.  The class would be a semester or a year long depending on how creative the school feels they want to be.  Students and teachers would work together to build curriculum using student voice, experiences, beliefs, vision, and needs.

Can you imagine the great curriculum that could be created in this space!?  

I think this would be a great opportunity to connect learners together on a horizontal platform.  I think curriculum would strengthen in schools and become more relevant.  It would also break down barriers between generational learners.  Imagine if students were able to create paths within their own learning in which the entire school could be a part of.  Imagine how the outdated subjects and curriculum would change for the better.  Social emotional learning and self awareness would be built into these experimental classes.  Students, teachers, administrators, communities could learn so much together.    

I struggle to see WHY this is not in place already?  Maybe it is in places.  Let me know if you have seen anything like it.  Just another way to #disrupteducation.  


Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
Change Outdated Traditional Educational Systems #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker | Founder of the OPRF School of Business | Chairman of Glenbard East HS Business and FaCS #disrupteducation
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