The Curriculum Reform Forum
The Curriculum Reform Forum is dedicated to disseminating thought leadership in the field of curricular reform in order to inspire local reform initiatives. It is a platform for global dialogue fostering the exchange of ideas as well as a resource offering concrete support to academic practitioners.
Inspired by this question of the father of Modern Skepticism we would like to approach contemporary curricular reform with the wisdom and fervour of an owl going into nosedive. You are invited to read our manifesto and join the conversation!
Phi Beta Iota: We have focused on Paradigms of Failure and on the loss of intelligence and integrity for decades. Now George Soros has had his aha moment. The Reflexive Movement is advancing on all fronts. Russell Ackoff smiles.
Below is the essence of the Manifesto:
1. As a central guideline teach disciplines rigorously in introductory courses together with a set of parallel seminars devoted to complex real life problems that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
2. Teach knowledge in its social, cultural and political contexts. Teach not just the factual subject matter, but highlight the challenges, open questions and uncertainties of each discipline.
3. Create awareness of the great problems humanity is facing (hunger, poverty, public health, sustainability, climate change, water resources, security, etc.) and show that no single discipline can adequately address any of them.
4. Use these challenges to demonstrate and rigorously practice interdisciplinarity, avoiding the dangers of interdisciplinary dilettantism.
5. Treat knowledge historically and examine critically how it is generated, acquired, and used. Emphasize that different cultures have their own traditions and different ways of knowing. Do not treat knowledge as static and embedded in a fixed canon.
6. Provide all students with a fundamental understanding of the basics of the natural and the social sciences, as well as the humanities. Emphasize and illustrate the connections between these traditions of knowledge.
7. Engage with the world’s complexity and messiness. This applies to the sciences as much as to the social, political and cultural dimensions of the world. Such an engagement will contribute to the education of concerned citizens.
8. Emphasize a broad and inclusive evolutionary mode of thinking in all areas of the curriculum.
9. Familiarize students with non-linear phenomena in all areas of knowledge.
10. Fuse theory and analytic rigor with practice and the application of knowledge to real-world problems.
11. Rethink the implications of modern communication and information technologies for education and the architecture of the university.
Tip of the Hat to Tom Atlee for the pointer. Visit him at the Co-Intelligence Institute.