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Transcript of Sabertooth Curriculum
As you considered the questions along the path of the Tribe, place your own school, your own classroom under the scrutiny of these questions. How will your classroom survive? Have we "started with a system of purposeful education...[that has] degenerated through the years into a system of red-tape, magical culture" (pg. 137)?
The Sabertooth Curriculum
Why do we need education?
What makes a good curriculum choice?
J. Abner Peddiwell's lectures begin with the start of education and the needed establishment of curriculum. Education started from thinkers who considered ways to meet the needs of the community (pg. 25). The curriculum was practiced and learned through their activities (fish-grabbing).
Wiggins and McTighe agree with Peddiwell that "an understanding is best acquired by "uncovering"....and "doing" the subject" (pg. 129). The tribes curriculum supported their activities & the tribe prospered in their new found learning.
But, is curriculum timeless despite change?
The Real-Tiger School
Does curriculum need to adapt?
Here, J. Abner Peddiwell describes how education stayed the same, and decided it must become "respectable" through "demanding specialization and more specialization in order to achieve the narrow knowledge and broad ignorance which the paleolithic university demanded of its most truly distinguished" (pg. 55).
McNeil seems to agree that changes is education do not always adapt positively to change. McNeil notes the difference after the textbook. "The textbook promoted the learner's dependency on a teacher for uniform course content, standardized courses of study, and learning sequences" (pg. 6).
In the challenge to keep our curriculum, do we sacrifice best learning practices?
Higher Paleolithic Education
Should we require all students to demonstrate understanding through the same educational process?
Peddiwell notes that students within higher education were forced through a department of magical topics that would be disgraced from becoming truly sacred if they they modified student behavior (pg. 85).
Thus, students were forced to represent their knowledge through only one facet of understanding, and without a big idea to connect to it. The tribe limited the demonstration of understanding and learning to the mystical subjects that were unconnected to their real lives.
The Paleolithic Youth Problem
Does curriculum have a role in preparing
youth to participate in society?
This chapter shows the youth not needed in participation within society, so they are taken with leisure activities that have no meaning. Peddiwell describes how the youth had difficulty finding jobs within society once they finished at university.
McNeil discusses the importance of curriculum in establishing student identity. We see that "the personality and intellect of an individual form through a series of interrelated stages" (pg. 75), but the youth of the tribe were left with disjointed learning, and a meaningless postgraduate activity.
Could this scenario have been avoided?
Words from the Cave...
"The essence of true education is timelessness. It is something that endures through changing conditions like a solid rock standing squarely and firmly in the middle of a raging torrent. You must know that there are some eternal verities, and the Sabertooth curriculum is one of them!" (pg. 44).
More words from the cave...
"Not information, but pure thought is going to be the university's aim...as soon as esoteric knowledge was developed for its own hocus-pocus sake, universities became necessary" (pg. 75).
This novel offers an allegory of a fictional esteemed professor who gives lectures in a Tijuana bar to a former student on the pitfalls of a society in relation to it's curriculum choices. Throughout these slides, questions established in Peddiwell's lectures are tied with current curriculum research. Place yourself in the position of the tribal leaders of Peddiwell's society....what would you have done?
Background on J. Abner Peddiwell
presented by Amy Cimino
Which direction does our curriculum compass point?
We can easily dismiss the questions posed by the fictional J. Abner Peddiwell. However, I challenge you to extend beyond Cave thinking to be the "educator who can at least recognize that there are other ways of getting over that wall" (pg. 112). What direction is your curriculum compass pointed? Without an end goal in mind we are easily distracted off course to meaningless cave-like activities.
"By the time this goal (academic respectability) was reached, however, many of the students whom the professors of education had presumably prepared for teaching were very poor practitioners of the craft" (pg. 57)
Back in the Cave...
Final thoughts from the Cave...
"They are forever blocked in attempts to better their lives by reason of having only mis-education, pesudo education, in place of real education" (pg. 136).
Our allegory soon concludes, and the fate of the tribe decided.
Why did they choose to devalue understanding through meaningless education?