Several years ago, Westfield High School was in a consortium to transform schools. I deeply admire Grant Wiggins and believe in his methodology. This article is provocative, not surprisingly. I will reread several times to fully understand and evaluate his basic premise.

Granted, and...

UPDATE: Cool. This post was nominated and made the shortlist for Most Influential Post of 2012 by edublog. I’m really honored!


What if the earth moves and the sun is at rest? What if gravity is just a special case of space-time? Following both counter-intuitive premises revolutionized science and ushered in the modern world. Could a similar counter-intuitive thought experiment advance education from where I believe we are currently stuck? I believe so.

The educational thought experiment I wish to undertake concerns curriculum. Not the specific content of curriculum, but the idea of curriculum, what any curriculum is, regardless of subject. Like Copernicus, I propose that for the sake of better results we need to turn conventional wisdom on it is head:  let’s see what results if we think of action, not knowledge, as the essence of an education; let’s see what results from thinking of future ability, not knowledge…

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. prenwick
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 12:38:40

    Each day I struggle to identify what factors seem to be bogging down our educational system and ultimately student learning. Clearly, we need to do something different if we are to see some progress. As is most often the case (there are a few exceptions) Mr. Wiggins points resonate with me. I believe Grant’s ideas echo some of what constructivism and experiential learning offer, but with a new focus on having classroom instruction getting students to do something as a first priority. Then their seeking knowledge becomes part of the challenge, not the end goal. How much more engaging! I particularly liked this line:
    “Knowledge is an indicator of educational success, not the aim”
    Our current education system stresses assessment of knowledge and clearly does not support this claim. What I hear Grant advocating for requires a paradigm shift. One that will require a shift away from our current philosophies and move us more towards a model of doing first and acquiring knowledge to support our efforts. As I mentioned when I reblogged this some weeks ago, I enjoyed working with Grant in our New Jersey consortium a few years ago. My hope is to somehow continue our good work together with this common focus.


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