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Curriculum: Design and Phylosophy Underlying Are Not For Wikis

It's been a long time since I don't read or write about curriculum (Curriculum was the topic I've worked on back when I had to present my doctoral thesis). Stephen Downes found the root of this theme and directed me to Generation YES a multi-authored blog which goals are to "facilitate change in schools that are interested in transformation, growth, and fulfilling their potential as inclusive learning communities."

Silvia Martinez is one of the contributors for Generation YES and she wrote an outstanding post on her reasons of why she thinks curriculum shouldn't be built taking wikis as a tool. We find her contribution interesting, because since Hilda Taba and Ralph Tyler, it's not so easy to find theoricists of the American curriculum and she just got it right. At the end of her post she clarifies though, she's not against breaking down the monopoly that textbook world. "I’m completely in favor of people using the collaborative power of wikis to build reference and teaching materials that reflect their views about learning and teaching."

There is something we have to agree with Silvia is that curriculum is build up on a whole set of ideas and philosophical and even political conceptions. Curriculum isn't a collection of content per se. It reflects the wiki author’s beliefs about the nature of teaching and learning. How many people can edit a wiki? So, what is going to be the set of believes used and established to design, build, apply and evaluate a determined curricula?

"Curriculum is an statement of opinion [...] It reflects a person’s or group’s belief about what order to approach topics and what kinds of activities work best for most students. The pacing, depth, and order are all based on these beliefs, which can differ widely between authors. Curriculum authors have to think long and hard about their philosophy regarding the subject area and presentation of the material."

If you go and visit the thread of comments on Silvia Martinez's post you will see interesting contributions.

Being agreed on the conception of curriculum, let us say that the best of them, won't fit all school necessities and that's something people that work as designers need to consider at all times. If curriculum is flexible, then it won't work as a wiki in large, but could it be used into particular boards or schools? If you are a teacher, you know plans need to be adjusted every time and almost for every class.

And as always, when people talks about philosophy it's so hard to arrive to conclusions, so is the curriculum discussion. What are your thoughts?

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