21st Century Curriculum

Year: 2012

Author: Stevens, Robert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


In this paper I argue that for curriculum to equip learners to meet 21st century economic, technological, social, health and ecological challenges, curriculum should be driven more by the cultivation of general capabilities than by content.  Curriculum should be designed in a way that facilitates inquiry based, Socratic and active learning pedagogies rather than didactic pedagogies.  Content driven curricula encourage an over-reliance on didactic pedagogies that are not conducive to the cultivation of general capabilities necessary for learners to effectively meet 21st century challenges.

The paper examines the role of Philosophy in 21st century curriculum. Curricula need to encourage learners to reflect on the philosophical and ethical ideas that are at the foundation of their disciplines.  Such reflection is best facilitated by Socratic pedagogies - such as those adopted in the NSW Ethics Trial - though supported by direct instruction in logic for example.