A Curriculum With Impact
What is it?
Recently, there was an interesting conversation on Twitter instigated by @MrCrawfordEng about how we might know our curriculum has an impact. What a brilliant provocation!
As I read through the responses, I felt… unsatisfied. I’m not convinced that anyone quite captured what makes 12 years of learning impacting. See some of the responses that I screen-grabbed below….
There’s a lot about knowledge retention but, my hunch is, the impact of a curriculum should be more than that.
A desire to learn which is outworked in attendance is also a key element of an impacting curriculum.
Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework (Ofsted, 2019), defines a school curriculum according to its intent, implementation and impact. Ofsted’s inspectors measure the curriculum to the extent to which “learners are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training”.
What does that mean in practice? And, is that it?
“It means that at each stage of education, schools need to prepare pupils for future success in their next steps and prepare them for adult life by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society, developing their understanding of fundamental human values, their understanding and appreciation of diversity, celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for all.”
There are three key elements, in my mind, to Bromley’s (2020, above) statement about a curriculum that impacts:
- prepare young people for future success with knowledge and skills (at each stage)
- active young people who contribute positively to society (real-life)
- appreciation and empathy for others
If [a curriculum] is to be preparation for dealing with rich, messy, disconcerting life then it can’t just train young people inhow to hoover up pre-determined, bite-sized gobblets of knowledge.
So, if a curriculum’s impact is NOT about measuring how successful young people gobbled up bits of knowledge, what is it exactly?
Is a curriculum’s impact measured upon the congruence of the learning narrative of knowledge and skills throughout one’s young life? Check out this — https://spiral.ross.org/spiral/# for a visual of how it might work.
Is a curriculum’s impact measured on its ability to facilitate opportunities for young people to contribute to society as part of the school curriculum? Check out Think Global schools.
Is an impacting curriculum one that facilitates young people to grow into thoughtful stewards of our world? Check out The Green School.
What do you think makes a curriculum impacting and how would you measure it?