It’s All Curricular

I get apprehensive whenever I hear educators referring to anything to do with the ‘Arts’ as co-curricular, representing a need they feel to separate it from what they perceive the be curricular, namely all things which are purely and inherently academic. Apart from anything else, such ideas have their genesis in an unhealthy focus on only the bottom level(s) of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning – the obsession with the accumulation of “stuff”/ knowledge as the be all and end all of learning and the primary purpose of school.

I therefore found this article very refreshing, as it explores concrete ways in which arts and academic learning can be interwoven in a cross-curricular approach, tailored to the age and learning level of the pupils in ways which are deeply meaningful and can lead to very high quality learning:

ASCD Article

When we read a piece like this and contrast it to the blog posting I did earlier this week about the extent to which lessons in UK schools are ‘dull and boring’ we realize the gulf between good quality education and the average. I remain a firm believer that the most significant differences are related to teacher motivation and there are a number of causes behind lower levels of motivation. These include;

  1. quality of leadership,
  2. the ‘tussle’ between teachers’ innate conservatism and resistance to change and society’s pressures to see education change to reflect a changed world,
  3. the reasons why people choose the profession, and
  4. how teachers are prepared for their roles, both pre- and in-service.

2 Responses

  1. It was interesting to attend the Sean Covey presentation and I personally appreciate the fact that it was not JUST for teachers and staff .. that parents were welcome to attend WITH children if they wished.

    Thank you for that opportunity. His presentation was an eye opener .. and I feel quite convinced that there is definitely a way that schools can align themselves to core principles of character buidling .. to move children from Dependence to Independance to Interdependance. I think it is at the Interdependance level that most of us falter NOT having learnt the skills, and not having sharpened our “saws” to that effect, once we are out in the world. The school can play a HUGE role in closing that gap. One Child at a Time.

    Here is an interesting article [in TIME Mag] I came across that I thought might be of general interest:,8599,1861074,00.html

    Really look forward to seeing how the Shri Ram School might follow up / rethink on a lot of the ideas and paradigm shifting that was loosely referred to at the lecture.


  2. Just wanted to add one line from the piece that catches my eye:

    “Childhood is social, so social skills need to be learned. And character skills. The 7 Habits does that.”

    Somehow for me this again ties in wonderfully with another issue that I have posted at your site: regarding BULLYING.

    Lack of socialization abilities [which can be taught and with practice become a behaviour] is one of the factors that lead to the “making of bullying behaviour”.


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