Tag Archives: curriculum

Distributed curriculum

This Tweet caught my eye today by triggering a train of thoughts on what a ‘distributed curriculum’ might involve.

Digitally Distributed Curriculum

This idea appears to position the curriculum as an outcome of interacting within networks of people, resources and technologies. I wonder if this curriculum is a restating for a formal education context, of the sort of personalised learning I previously discussed here. One of the issues here is on curricula design and whether all students have the capabilities, capacities and capital to direct the generation of their own curriculum in a coherent and sustainable manner or whether ‘fluid curricula’ models will need and be required to be fairly striated or ‘channeled’. Similarly, there is a need to develop successful practices on supporting students and staff in approaches to self-directed and self-regulated learning enabling deep engagement with ‘wicked’ subject problems.

Another aspect to the distributed curriculum may well be a social aspect of both participating in external professional and other communities as well as generating ephemeral communities of learners that ‘swarm’ around specific learning objects and artefacts as well as collectively bringing these objects/ artefacts in to engagement with the subject problem of interest.

Learning networks

I’ve been recently reading a few papers on learning networks, either as open networks or within a single organisation. What these papers had in common was a focus on networks as mechanisms to support members, especially ‘novices’ (and boy to I hate that term), to navigate through some form of agreed curriculum. This seems to be based on Wenger’s definition of communities of practice as involving a common competence. So if there is a common (agreed) competence set then developing a curriculum whether formally or informally (even intuitively) should be fairly straightforward. But my research of open networks for learning indicate something else happening: that beyond a fairly discrete core, there is not a common competence and no clear curriculum. Rather, learning networks operate as sites of ongoing and continuous negotiation and renegotiation of a bounded set of requisite competences. Networks are rather curriculum forming mechanisms where that curriculum does not appear to settle. Now my research has been focused on learning and education professionals where external and prescribed ‘bodies of knowledge’ are not universally desired (but still seen as a necessary part of being a ‘proper’ professional). So I’m wondering what the experience of others who participate in learning networks and whether you recognise the notion of a curriculum of development guiding that network?