Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ The 60-Year Curriculum: A Strategic Response to a Crisis

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Being just over 60, the idea of the 60-year curriculum appeals to me. After all, I'm still devoting a good part of every day to learning, some of which I convey in this newsletter. But I don't exactly see it as a 'strategic response to a crisis' (unless you're dealing with a very long crisis). I'm not exactly enthused by the model of 'Global Network,' that envisions "multiple careers and many 'gigs' within each career reflect the shift from centralized to distributed organizations, from predefined to ad hoc work, and from a role-based to a consultant model of agency." I get why they're proposing this; the world is too complex to manage any other way. But the response - while I'll characterize as "always be hustling" - is disjointed. Not everybody wants to live contract-to-contract, especially in those nations where the social safety net is broken and tattered. Talk about your 60 year crisis! We need stable network structures, not unstable chaos.

I also want to address the skills required. The authors write, "Students need to develop and apply general-purpose knowledge and skills that can transfer to novel situations." I think there are underlying skills, but they aren't the higher-level skills described here where "the model of the student's mind is an agile network of data and processes. Learning takes place just in time, depends on underlying transferable skills." This is reflected in the list of 'cognitive skills', which if you look at it, just repeats the same thing over and over using different words: cognitive processes, critical thinking, reasoning, information literacy, etc.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024 05:33 a.m.

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