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The ARRE-PCT Curriculum The ARRE-PCT Curriculum
by Joseph Gatt
2020-12-27 10:05:20
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Since COVID-19, teachers and students have been confined home. I think children, adolescents and young adults should be back in schools as soon as possible. I also think COVID is time to rethink the curriculum, so here are my two cents on that.

There's a curriculum that I think I invented (maybe someone came up with it before me). I call it the ARRE-PCT Curriculum. ARRE-PCT is the acronym I came up with for:

-Academics
-Recreation/Rituals
-Entertainment

-Professional training
-Conversation
-Team work

Right now, in most countries, the curriculum is based on academia and little else. But when you focus on academia and academic tests and academic results, you get people who can't work with teams, who tend to be very selfish, and who tend to be results-oriented more than anything else.

So here are my views on the curriculum.

If the curriculum lacks recreation; By recreation I mean everything from sports to games to fun activities.

In countries where the curriculum does not include a little bit of recreation, you get adults who don't even conceive of the notion of play. That is adults who come home, watch TV or play with their smartphones, and little else.

So children should learn that games and fun are part of life, and are an option they should consider.

One way to include recreation is to have recreational activities during lunch breaks, or to dedicate an hour or two or a few hours in the schedule to recreational activities.

curr001_400If the curriculum lacks rituals: Rituals could be saluting the flag, or singing the national anthem. They could also be ceremonies to start the week or to end the week. And they could be ceremonies for special occasions.

If schools do away with rituals, you get adults who often don't place great value on rituals in life. But rituals are necessary in any organized life, because they remind you who you are as a person.

Of course these days many want to do away with rituals because there are so many individual identities that people often don't identify with rituals. But if you look hard enough, I'm sure any school can find common ground among all students when it comes to rituals.

If the curriculum lacks entertainment; I know a lot of countries where students never watched a movie in class, never played music at school, never had a talent show or some kind of dance or music of theater festival.

What do you get in those countries? An entertainment black hole. That is, the only entertainment available is from Hollywood or Bollywood and nowhere else. And it's on Netflix and YouTube and nowhere else.  

So to nurture the creative talents, and to nurse the next generation of entertainers, schools need to include some entertainment activities.

Could be showing or screening a movie once a week. Could be scheduling a concert or music festival. Could be a dance festival or a theater festival. Could be learning how to play an instrument. Could be a school choir.

If schools don't focus on professional training: In my 12 years of school life, the only thing that vaguely resembled interacting with the professional world was a journalist from the Agence France Presse who made a visit to our classroom and discussed her job for an hour. That's all there was in 12 years.

Professional training could include field trips to companies. They could include a weekend on a construction site. They could include two days visiting a company or a hospital or at an army barracks or a farm.

Professional training could also be inviting professionals to talk about their jobs. And should also be trying to get kids to think about what job they want for the future.

If schools don't interact with the professional world, you get clueless kids about the professional world. Don't get me started on when those clueless kids enter the job market.

If schools don't focus on conversation: I know some schools, mainly in East Asia, almost ban conversation from the classroom. And that's when you get bullies and rapists who never get denounced.

Conversation shouldn't only be for recess. Classes should include a healthy dose of conversation.

In schools where conversation is not allowed inside the classroom, you get adults who are often scared to have conversation with strangers or in public. So a healthy dose of conversation in classrooms should make for adults comfortable conversing with strangers or in public.

If schools lack team activities: This is a big problem. A lot of schools around the world don't have teams for anything.

A hospital is a team of doctors. A farm is a team of farmers. A school is a team of teachers. A company is a team of co-workers. The government is a team of politicians.

So you can teach team work by organizing sports events. Or team competitions. Or team activities. Or any activity that involves working with a team in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.

That way you get individuals who are comfortable working together with a team.

Because in countries where they don't teach team work, when you set up a team, everyone plays “for themselves” or “chacun pour sa gueule” (each individual for his own fat mouth) as the French would say. That's not correct.


     
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