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Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World

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What year are you preparing your students for? 1973? 1995? Can you honestly say that your school's curriculum and the program you use are preparing your students for 2015 or 2020? Are you even preparing them for today? With those provocative questions, author and educator Heidi Hayes Jacobs launches a powerful case for overhauling, updating, and injecting life into the What year are you preparing your students for? 1973? 1995? Can you honestly say that your school's curriculum and the program you use are preparing your students for 2015 or 2020? Are you even preparing them for today? With those provocative questions, author and educator Heidi Hayes Jacobs launches a powerful case for overhauling, updating, and injecting life into the K-12 curriculum.


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What year are you preparing your students for? 1973? 1995? Can you honestly say that your school's curriculum and the program you use are preparing your students for 2015 or 2020? Are you even preparing them for today? With those provocative questions, author and educator Heidi Hayes Jacobs launches a powerful case for overhauling, updating, and injecting life into the What year are you preparing your students for? 1973? 1995? Can you honestly say that your school's curriculum and the program you use are preparing your students for 2015 or 2020? Are you even preparing them for today? With those provocative questions, author and educator Heidi Hayes Jacobs launches a powerful case for overhauling, updating, and injecting life into the K-12 curriculum.

30 review for Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Holt

    While this book serves as an introduction to rethinking the way the world educates its future generations, it lacked substance. The editor seemed to randomly choose authors and loosely connected ideas to explain her statement. The various contributing authors added their two cents, tooted their own horn, or promoted their books or business in the numerous chapters. The utopian and abstract concepts and ideas presented in the book were not thoroughly explained. The book was filled with theories While this book serves as an introduction to rethinking the way the world educates its future generations, it lacked substance. The editor seemed to randomly choose authors and loosely connected ideas to explain her statement. The various contributing authors added their two cents, tooted their own horn, or promoted their books or business in the numerous chapters. The utopian and abstract concepts and ideas presented in the book were not thoroughly explained. The book was filled with theories and "big idea" case studies with little how-to or methodology for implementation in our world. The book read like an educational theory text I had to read in college that bore no importance once in the classroom. While the book did inspire thinking, It could have done so much more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Curriculum 21 is a collection of 13 essay-chapters written by different authors to address a number of the issues around 21st century skills. Because of the nature of the book, it has some good bits interspersed with some lesser pieces. I imagine that most people with a mind towards revamping instruction and educational outcomes will find something here that confirms their thinking and some things to challenge their current paradigms. Hayes Jacobs gets the ball rolling writing the first four Curriculum 21 is a collection of 13 essay-chapters written by different authors to address a number of the issues around 21st century skills. Because of the nature of the book, it has some good bits interspersed with some lesser pieces. I imagine that most people with a mind towards revamping instruction and educational outcomes will find something here that confirms their thinking and some things to challenge their current paradigms. Hayes Jacobs gets the ball rolling writing the first four chapters that frame the rest of the book. Her chapters cover a general overview of the call for a 21st century skills curriculum with a particular emphasis on content and assessment and the changes to school structures that will help support a change. I found her chapters along with a chapter on Mabry Middle School in Georgia work as well as the final chapter by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick the most insightful. Tim Tyson, the principal of Mabry Middle School, provides a case study of his school's transition to teaching 21st century skills through a school-wide movie making project. Costa and Kallick provide a framework for thinking about their work with Habits of Mind and how to teach them. The other chapters while at parts interesting focus on either themes like global competencies, media literacy, and education for sustainability or on technology integration. I think these chapters place the focus in the wrong place. Rather it is Costa and Kallick's work and other work similar to theirs that drives my thinking about 21st century skills. That is to say that the themes and technology aren't the core point, instead it is how we teach students to think and interact that matters. Technology can help or hinder this effort. We shouldn't shy away from having students learn with new technology and produce technology sophisticated products. However, the technology should always be in service of thinking. Similarly the themes we address in the classroom do matter. We do need to teach students to be globally competent, media literate, and sustainable members of our community. However, the priority needs to be placed first on how we teach students to think critically through a problem. These ideas just help identify what problems they should be thinking through. So, that said, we are sitting on the cusp of a sea change in education. I hope that the ideas here trickle down into policy and practice, but they aren't just ideas about integrating more technology for technologies sake, but are always in service of teaching students how to think and collaborate.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lina Akula

    In her book Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, author Heidi Hayes Jacobs raises very important points on rethinking curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century learner. Curriculum designers need to upgrade the curriculum and teachers need to improve their old practices. Jacob provides good suggestions on how to move forward in the process and uses backward design as a starting point. Before educators work on revising content and skills they need to start by revising the In her book Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, author Heidi Hayes Jacobs raises very important points on rethinking curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century learner. Curriculum designers need to upgrade the curriculum and teachers need to improve their old practices. Jacob provides good suggestions on how to move forward in the process and uses backward design as a starting point. Before educators work on revising content and skills they need to start by revising the assessments. I liked the statement "new forms give us new platforms for thinking" (p. 27) and this is true in today's world. In the old days we relied a lot on memorization, which doesn't help nowadays. We need to be able to collaborate with others effectively, solve real-life problems, think critically and be able to use the vast digital resources wisely. A lot has changed since I went to school. For example, people are able to get information on any topic through the Internet in a fraction of seconds, which was not possible years back. Teachers need to replace old practices with new ones to include use of podcasts, virtual field trips, simulations, videos, electronic portfolios, animations, etc... Anyone interested in curriculum reform and learning how to adapt to a changing world could read this book. Teachers would benefit most since the editor provides thoughtful ideas on how to "help our learners demonstrate learning with the types of products and performances that match our times." (p. 25) Ten authors also contributed to this book by sharing their experiences on the changing world. The authors provided examples on how to integrate technology into the classroom and how to make it meaningful. This book is a must read... As a teacher I benefited from the content.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Wow! All I can say is wow! Read this 226 page book all the way through! Tons of ideas! So many things that make you think about your curriculum! So many things that make you realize that we have a lot to incorporate into our day to prepare our students for a global world they will be working in and living in! This book will be on my desk this fall reminding me of what I need to address!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Greaves

    A lot of good articles here, although sometimes it was redundant and flat. I would have liked more real-life examples and some visuals. I did sign up for the website and have to investigate that. I took away some tools to use next year in my classroom and some goals.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mar

    Okay, I misplaced the book and so it took me a long time to finish. When I found it again, I did start at the beginning. This book, edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs is okay. She writes the first few chapters outlining her vision of pedagogy, learning and education. The subsequent chapters are focussed on various components of 21st Century Learning. Not much that is novel, and not with which to disagree. Some chapters provide actual experiences with some of the skills and some are more theoretical.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I read two chapters and skimmed three. This is a collection of authors musing about what the school of the future could be like. I was looking for research based best teaching practices. This is not that book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Add life to your motivation to truly prepare your students for our changing world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adam Gutschenritter

    Interesting ideas, but just ideas very little I hadn't already tried. However, based on the age of the book, it might just be a dated edition.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dana Jordan

    Interesting ideas, read for a college class.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Duc Hoang

    Practical, the suggested approaches are very easy to read, understand and apply. However, like the book's title, the approaches are fundamental and need to be adapted to each scenario uniquely.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Valuable information for the changing landscape of education. I think the danger of publishing a book like this is that it will become dated and possibly obsolete in ten years, since much of it does address the integration of technology in the classroom, and some of the tools discussed may be passed up for something newer and more innovative. Still, I really appreciated that there were ideas for making the shift, and philosophically, I understand and agree with where Jacobs is coming from. I Valuable information for the changing landscape of education. I think the danger of publishing a book like this is that it will become dated and possibly obsolete in ten years, since much of it does address the integration of technology in the classroom, and some of the tools discussed may be passed up for something newer and more innovative. Still, I really appreciated that there were ideas for making the shift, and philosophically, I understand and agree with where Jacobs is coming from. I don't think she suggests that anyone should completely discard certain things that have been done before, but rather, she gives us the idea that we can and should make some changes to our curriculum that will benefit the students' learning.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris Chater

    This was my first venture into Adobe Digital Additions. And last. While it only took a couple of hours to get the book readable (on the wrong computer) - compared to the 30 seconds to pay the high price for a locked-down edition - I have never been able to print myself more than a few pages of a chapter I'd already read. Back to pulp and killing trees, or downloading private PDF versions. Heidi's book itself? I'm sure it's incredible but having been burned once I'll leave it out there until I can This was my first venture into Adobe Digital Additions. And last. While it only took a couple of hours to get the book readable (on the wrong computer) - compared to the 30 seconds to pay the high price for a locked-down edition - I have never been able to print myself more than a few pages of a chapter I'd already read. Back to pulp and killing trees, or downloading private PDF versions. Heidi's book itself? I'm sure it's incredible but having been burned once I'll leave it out there until I can better read the small print.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

    Reading this for a leadership retreat.. interesting.. among other ideas.. that Favorite quote so far.. "In our 21st century, there is still a prevailing attitude that to be intellectual is to be effete." Big ideas.. form follows function, we have been living in a world of answers, now we live in a world of questions. It's not about the curriculum, it's about how to think, question, wonder, create, problem solve etc. And about keeping students engaged.... need to live in their world.. Reading this for a leadership retreat.. interesting.. among other ideas.. that Favorite quote so far.. "In our 21st century, there is still a prevailing attitude that to be intellectual is to be effete." Big ideas.. form follows function, we have been living in a world of answers, now we live in a world of questions. It's not about the curriculum, it's about how to think, question, wonder, create, problem solve etc. And about keeping students engaged.... need to live in their world.. technology..

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bill Littell

    The editor takes too long (four chapters) to set up the rest of the book. Once she turns the book over to her contributing authors, though, things improve dramatically. In various ways these contributors make a convincing case for the transformation of Education, largely based on incorporating much more current technology into the curriculum along with more authentic, performance-based methods of assessment.

  16. 4 out of 5

    LB

    I enjoyed chapter 3: many good resources and interesting ideas to consider. Everything before it, I could have done without. In general, the writing was difficult to follow. It seemed to ramble in circles and was dimpled with thick phrases. I also found too many unsupported suppositions. After attending her lecture, my somewhat negative feeling has not changed. I found her to be abrasive and she did not support several of her statements.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Nadzam

    I had to read most of this book for a course I was taking. And, amazingly enough, I found the essays in it so good that I finished it. I was especially taken with the first three essays by Jacobs about transforming curriculum. I think that introducing some of these essays to teachers in my school would be great. Going to add this one to my library.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Busky3

    It's a great book filled with lots of ideas but it's almost too much. Should you, a teacher, be more receptive to technology in the classroom or plan lessons that encourage sustainability? Or should you as a school reorganize every class? I feel like teachers don't need a book of great ideas; they need a sentence with one in it that they can try out immediately and then get a new one every year.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kate. Shea

    reading this book for a grad course but would recommend it for teachers interested in making a change in their classroom or school. Heidi Jacobs discusses the ides of teachers as researchers which I totally agree with. We need to be actively reflecting about our practice!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This was a required read for department chairs at my school. It was interesting enough, but not revolutionary. The best thing about this is that it collects some current forward-looking ideas that are already circulating in the education world into a single volume.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarbej2

    This book was far more interesting than I thought it would be. Unfortunately I am not a big education nut that gets into a tizzy reading about styles of education. I thought it was worth the time I spent to read it, but is it my favorite, no. thats why I gave it an "it was ok".

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I read this for a book study at school. While there are some interesting ideas, I find the editor, who wrote a number of chapters, a bit condescending. I struggled to enjoy the ideas beyond the writing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    I think any forward-thinking teacher would be inspired by this book. My growing concern in education now, however, is how do we forward-thinking teachers change things from the bottom up when so much about education is top down?

  24. 4 out of 5

    bjneary

    A great book with many awesome essays on the changing face of education.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Meyers

    Very good broad concepts for education reform. I enjoyed the specific examples and look forward to implementing the methods at my school.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan Brownhill

    Some interesting ideas, but very dry.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    Loved it!! And what was better, got to hear her speak, of which I HIGHLY recommend!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    An essential resource for teachers and school leaders looking to upgrade their instruction. This book will be relevant for years to come.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rock

    Working on a presentation on this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Not as boring as most books I read for work so it gets four stars. It didn't have too much practical application information so I only gave it three!

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