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8 Content Areas For Tomorrow’s Students

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A lot is implied in the content areas we choose to disperse the world through. That’s essentially what classes and content areas are – perspectives to make sense of the world. If the world changes, should they change? These words and phrases that we now associate with schools, teachers, and assignments reflect our priority as a culture. This is the information and thinking we value and want our children to understand. It also implies what we think is useful, presumably (unless we’re intentionally teaching content that we think is use-less).

Somehow, most schools in modern times have settled on the Humanities and STEM, with a North American student’s courses usually including English, Math, Science, and Social Studies as a kind of core. These collections of content are curated by experts into standards that are then formed into curriculum, units, and lessons. Teachers take up these lessons and, mixed with iconic ideas like the quadratic equation, the water cycle, and William Faulkner’s use of symbolism, become the face of what students learn.

Just as advances in technology enabled the growth of science, the extremely rapid growth of technology we’re experiencing today is impacting our perspectives, tools, and priorities now. But beyond some mild clamor for a focus on “STEM,” there have been only minor changes in how we think of content–this is spite of extraordinary changes in how students connect, access data, and function on a daily basis. What kind of changes might we expect in a perfect-but-still-classroom-and-content-based world? What might students learn in the future?

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