The Galaxy Known as Curriculum

I’d like for you to take a moment and picture a starry night sky; dark as ink, nary a cloud in sight, bright beacons of wishes and promises above you. This is how I envision curriculum. Night Sky

The galaxy is this massive system of billions of stars, surrounded by gases and dust, and all held together by a huge gravitational attraction. Imagine if you would, that each of those twinkling lights up there is an outcome, an objective, as Egan wrote the “what” that we try to lead our students to. Each of those stars can be orbited by their own planetary objects, which represents prior knowledge or skills which our students need in order to master the larger outcome. Some of those stars are closer to us, and we will reach them sooner than others. Some have more weight and some share their solar system with other stars. Some knowledge is easier to reach, some knowledge will come sooner than others, and some of our outcomes carry more weight than others.

Take those stars and look where they are clustered. They shine through the darkness, creating images from our past: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Orion, Gemini, and more. These constellations are images of curriculum working together across disciplines; music meshing with language and mathematics, the sciences blending with sculpture and movement. One can link these stars together to create a bigger picture, a larger understanding.

The galaxy, as immense as it is, appears unchanging, yet it evolves and transforms every day, hour and minute. New stars are born from gases and dust as they combine together in the gravitational crockpot. Old stars collapse and become the swirling dust and debris needed to further encourage growth and change in the sky. Curriculum reacts the same way. Methodology evolves, educational trends develop, and pedagogy has phases of innovation. Through it all, educators must sift through the debris and find ways for our students to pursue their passions, interests and skills, all while reaching for those luminous orbs in the sky.

Spiral Galaxy

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