The Global Curriculum Project brings together the research presented in 'The Future of Learning' along with The Global Competencies (release date - July 2017) and the Global Learning Domains (release date March 2018) to create a Global Conceptual Curriculum. The combined potential of these three resources dramatically improves how all learners learn and become independent lifelong learners.
Our 4+(1) Learning Systems
The research into how the brain learns and how we can optimize this to make learning more efficient and more effective is the focus of this project.
The Global Curriculum Project has identified six domains that require implementation over a 3-5-year time frame. ‘The Future of Learning addresses these six domains and the schedule for implementation of each of the six domains. The Global Curriculum Project draws on the research into how the brain learns and from this research it is becoming clear that we have multiple learning systems that use different types of cells and with each having different ways of storing memories.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that to learn efficiently, the focus needs to be on developing conceptual understanding and keeping the amount of knowledge to a minimum. Of our four+(1) learning systems learning by rote (off-by-heart) is our most recently acquired learning system and consequently our most inefficient learning system.
1. We create knowledge by processing and remembering the sensory data we receive about our world, mostly using cells in ourbrain called neurons. (millions of years)
2. To learn to speak and listen, we make use of the brains sequencing ability to sequence and copy the mouth movements of our primary caregivers. This capacity is achieved mostly using neurons but also some specialised glial cells. (100,000’s of years)
3. Building ideas, concepts and concept frameworks makes use of a combination of neurons and specialised brain cells called astrocytes. The tripartite relationship between these two cell types across synapses allows us to create and remember ideas, concepts and concept frameworks. (80-120,000 years)
4. Creativity allows us to associate combinations of knowledge elements, ideas, concepts and concept frameworks to build new knowledge, ideas, concepts and concept frameworks. This process is orchestrated via our brainwave activity that is in turn managed by structures in the brain known as the amygdala and the hippocampus. (40-80,000 years)
Each of the learning systems above are relatively equitable for everyone. We know this to be the case as everyone learns to practically drive a car at about the same rate (between 30-50 hours)
The additional +(1) learning system is learning via rote. Humans recently adapted the sequencing process to allow us to carry out rote learning and this is our only learning system that has a significant distribution curve of success. This is the result of both nature (genetics) and nurture (home environment.
Rote learning via the requirement to learn to read and write is a recent adaptation and as such it is very inefficient and this can be compounded or minimized through introduction to text in the child’s early years and through their school years. (200 years - the average across all people groups)
It is this emerging understanding that allows us to maximize our learning potential and make learning far more equitable. Most learners that struggle to learn do because of the amount of rote learning that reading and writing commands. If, at some point, we allowed learners to watch video to build their understanding and create video to express their understanding then what they have learned can be expressed far better.
This is obviously a contentious issue but it is one we are going to have to address, as most roles that society now requires demand dramatically more ongoing learning to keep up with the pace of change.
With its emphasis on reading/writing and rote learned mathematics over the last two centuries, schools were the perfect tool to convince the 80% of students they were not very smart and hence deserved low paid, tedious jobs as just 20% of the students became very good readers, writers, and learned their rote learned mathematics.
The 6 Pillars of Learning
Over the last 20 years, the requirements of our communities and workplaces have flipped completely. In this century, we need 80% of people to believe they are intelligent, as outsourcing low labour rate jobs to other countries, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and computerisation have removed most of the low paid, low skill jobs, leaving just 20% of employment opportunities left in this domain.
Third world countries will also loose these low paid, tedious jobs in the next twenty years as Artificial Intelligence, robotics and computerization becomes more cost effective than the very lowest paid workers.
The following are six pillars that this resource focuses on:
1. School leadership and staff require clarity surrounding the purpose, vision and mission of school and, as a result, establish learning as your central purpose.
2. A focus on increasing the agency of the learner over their learning via the effective application of the competencies.
3. A shift in how we view intelligence, based on how the brain learns, and how well we can apply the resulting optimised learning process.
4. An understanding of the role of technology and creating optimised learning environments that are designed to support the application of the Learning Process.
5. Educators assessing their practice using the Action Learning Process and applying formative assessment methods to assess learner understanding.
6. The implementation of concept-based learning domains and competencies, based on building conceptual understanding, with learners creatively leveraging that understanding to be innovative and subsequently ingenious.