Cut the Curriculum

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Here’s an idea: A Minimal Viable Curriculum (MVC). That’s what Christian Talbot over at Basecamp is proposing, and I have to say, I love the idea.

He writes: “What if we were to design MVCs: Minimum Viable Curricula centered on just enough content to empower learners to examine questions or pursue challenges with rigor? Then, as learners go deeper into a question or challenge, they update their MVC…which is pretty much how learning happens in the real world.”

The key there to me is that THEY update their MVC. That resonates so deeply; it feels like that’s what I’m doing with my learning each day as I read about and work with school leaders who are thinking deeply about change.

And I’d bet that resonates with anyone who has come to terms with the reality that we learn more in informal, real world environments than we do in formal, school based settings. When we pursue questions that matter to us, rigor is baked in.

Teachers and schools have a role to play in developing students as learners, no doubt. One of those roles to replicate the conditions under which powerful learning takes place in our day to day lives. Moving from a “BFC” (Bloated Forgettable Curriculum) to an “MVC” is a great step in that direction.

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