The Contextual Curriculum™ – 2. Orientation


“First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions. Our business is changing, and so the skills our engineers need change rapidly, as well. We can teach them the technical stuff. But for employees to solve problems or to learn new things, they have to know what questions to ask. And we can’t teach them how to ask good questions – how to think. The ability to ask the right questions is the single most important skill.” Clay Parker, the President of the Chemical Management Division of BOC Edwards, quoted in ‘Would you hire your own kids

Idea Source are reinventing the traditional engagement model to be meaningful and compelling to native and international learners in Cambodia, putting into practice what we know really works based on deep and wide research.

To begin we should consider The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2012: Living in a Hyperconnected World when it covers in detail how rapidly technology is “deeply redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and enterprises, and citizens and governments.”

The Contextual Curriculum™ is built on new materials, connections and delivery systems that capture students’ interest and imagination and equip them for success in the real world – Its basic aims are:

1) Break down the barriers between the classroom and the real world. Incorporate the challenges students face and activities they engage in every day outside the classroom to improve their work in the classroom through our blended learning model.

2) Show the relationship between, the benefits and limits of independence, contemplation, competition and collaboration.

3) Increase students’ self-confidence as they solve real problems independently and within in group contexts.

4) Increase students’ self-confidence as they communicate and present the results of their work using media and face-to-face methods.

5) Expand students’ career possibilities and understanding of work and production by connecting them to renowned Experts from a wide range of careers and professions, as well as site visits.

6) Equip students with the language, visual and technology skills they need to succeed in a global economy.

7) Shift the role of learners from passive consumers of information to contributors to curriculum.

8) Reposition teachers as guides and facilitators with materials, tools and support to transform their classrooms into learning communities.

9) Promote moral codes of conduct based upon respect for each other, and reason, logic and understanding.

There is almost no way to avoid needing to become digital fluent in the global economy. But this requires much more than simply buying a child a computer, where they play “angry birds” 12 hours a day. It is critical to guide them in their use before they get lost in an infinite glut of both ‘good’ digital materials which makes them think, and ‘bad’ material which has them simply pressing at the command of the machine or programmer.

As such all our students will be made aware of, and made fluent in the constructive use of digital technologies, social networking and the internet. We aim, in the words of Douglas Rushkoff,  to make them the ‘programmers’ rather than them being ‘the programmed’.

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