My high school experience was highly structured and goal-oriented. The school reinforced dominant doctrines with regard to gender, sexuality and culture. In many ways it was a toxic, patriarchal environment. I was categorized as a ‘logical type’ and was not encouraged to express myself or think creatively.
Technological advancements have given us access to an information super highway but have also subjected us to new ways of being exploited.
Our radically multidisciplinary curriculum aims to give students the tools to disentangle themselves from the problems of these systems.
Preconceived ideas about gender, sexuality, race and identity are harmful to students and can take many years of conscious effort to unlearn.
Our goal is to address these problems at their source by encouraging a perspective on knowledge that is ‘detachable, connectible, reversible, modifiable’ with ‘multiple entryways and exits’ (Deleuze & Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, 1987, p. 21). Learning is meaningful not through abstract universals and truths, but through experimentation. We will tear down the canon and replace it with something far more diverse, plural and accepting.
(Richard Giblett, Mycelium Rhizome)
The curriculum will be a living and breathing organism. Students are encouraged to peer inside the curriculum, learn how it works and operate on it. These students will discover tools for composing their own education. This is not an expectation as structure can be friendly and helpful.
Students will learn by working together, sharing experience and understanding. Together they will disappear into screens and virtual realities only to find an art that points them beyond.
Students will become motivated and capable community contributors in our technological context.
Students must develop their ability to communicate through written and verbal mediums. They must be capable of critically evaluating their environment, as well as using technology and art to influence and contribute to it. They must learn to contribute and collaborate.
Curriculum as Sandbox
There will be no discrete classrooms, instead an open space with freedom of movement.
Open plan classroom, Learning Exchange NSW
The curriculum is delivered through a compose-able virtual space that is developed and maintained by students and teachers. Each area of study is a virtual community with an function of something comparable to a wiki. It will also contain the preliminary tools and syllabus for teaching. This might include:
- plans for digital/actual social engagement
- diverse reading lists
- instructions for participation a financial system simulation
The structure, rules and concept of these virtual spaces have the potential to be radically overhauled through collaborative intervention by students and teachers. The space will come to represent the nature of the shared knowledge that has been developed.
Teachers provide constant feedback and guidance throughout this process, providing adjustments to each student as required.
In order to encourage the development of the learning environment, school internet is controlled and social networks such as Facebook are blocked. Students will suggest and contribute to methods of virtual encounter and communication in the community system.
A map of interconnected knowedge in curriculum