The Two Curriculums

As part of the online course we’re running titled “Becoming A Bushcraft Instructor”, we’re currently reading the book “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind” by Guy Claxton. We’ve been enjoying many thoughtful discussions on teaching and learning and how they apply to bushcraft and the outdoors. This gem of a passage is from near the end of the book (p. 215) on the two curriculums that every school teaches, and reinforces our longstanding premise that there is much more to teaching bushcraft than simply being proficient at the skills.

In any school or college, there is not one curriculum but two. The first we might call the content curriculum: it is the body of knowledge and know-how that people are there to learn – sums, French, philosophy, dentistry, whatever. Both students and teachers are clear about what the subject is and how progress is to be gauged. If this were the only curriculum, teachers would be free to use whatever means they could to make learning easier, quicker, more pleasant and more successful. But it isn’t. Underneath every concern with content lies another curriculum, less visible but just as vital – the learning curriculum – which is teaching students about learning itself: what it is; how to do it; what counts as effective of appropriate ways to learn; what they, the students, are like as learners; what they’re good at and what they are not.

Educational Philosophy

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  • Tim

    Nice post. Great blog too.
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