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The World Needs a New Curriculum

Educational Technology Volume 54, Number 4, ISSN 0013-1962


The author proposes that today's existing, world-wide curriculum--based on offering roughly the same math, language arts, science, and social studies to all--is not what is required for the future, and is hurting rather than helping the world's students. Math, language arts, science, and social studies, he argues, are really "proxies" for a small number of identifiable underlying skills which can be taught in other, more useful ways, and furthermore, he says, there are many other skills students need that we do not offer at all--particularly in the areas of action, relationships, and accomplishment. Prensky proposes a very different curricular organization, based at the top level around the four key areas of Effective Thinking, Effective Action, Effective Relationships, and Effective Accomplishment. He suggests that the amount of math, language arts, science, and social studies we still offer, beyond a very small core, be different for each student depending on interest and need, but that the underlying skills be the same for all. Prensky's organization goes beyond what is currently offered by the proponents of so-called "21st century skills." Further, Prensky proposes that all education not be based on made-up examples designed to be "relevant" to all students (or on problems designed to "cover standards") but on actual accomplishments of students in the real world.


Prensky, M. (2014). The World Needs a New Curriculum. Educational Technology, 54(4), 3-15. Retrieved March 5, 2021 from .

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