Ursus

Students Should Map Their Own Curriculum

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Critical thinking. Communication. Global thinking. Creative thinking.

These are the Westport 2025 concepts created by Westport Schools to prepare kids for the future. Although they seem simple, these concepts are easily achieved if students get more choice in choosing what they learn. The “Ursus” staff believes that students need to have more of a voice in choosing what and how they learn.

Creating a whole new concept for a curriculum is difficult to do. One cannot change things overnight, but we can try implementing student choice with some small changes. Next year we propose each grade adopt one unit in which the students get to choose their own direction.

We have ideas as to how we could incorporate this student choice into each of the core subjects.

For language arts, students could read whatever genre book they would like to read. Afterwards, they could be assessed by writing in the style of that book. For example, a student could read “The Hunger Games” and afterwards write a dystopian short story.

For social studies, a student could choose an era or issue to learn about, either individually or in groups, research it, and eventually present their information to a class.

For science, they could have more experiments modeled after science showcase, an eighth grade project where each student does their own experiment.

In math, students could explore self-chosen topics from history, business or politics and look at the issue from a mathematical perspective and study different kinds a math to see connections.

Schools need to boost student creativity. Right now all of their brains are focused on critical thinking; no one has a chance to use their creative thinking, communication, or global thinking skills. Student input and choice could help.

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Students Should Map Their Own Curriculum