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Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs


Does your school’s curriculum reflect the times in which we live?
Are you preparing students to live and work in a global society while utilizing modern technology?

Today’s students are “digital natives” living in a technological era in which the Internet, Google and text messaging have always existed. Unfortunately, many teachers have been labeled “digital immigrants” and are ill prepared to put new media tools and technology to use in our somewhat antiquated education system.

“I often wonder if many of our students feel like they are time traveling as they walk through the school door each morning.  As they cross the threshold, do they feel as if they are entering a simulation of life in the 1980’s?  Then at the end of the school day, do they feel that they have returned to the 21st century?”      
Heidi Hayes Jacob

It is common for students to perceive the methods of how the curriculum is delivered as being irrelevant to how they learn. As educators, we need to become strategic learners ourselves by expanding our perspectives and updating our teaching practices and strategies.

During GE’s Summer Institute, members of the Principals Empowering Principals classes relied on this book to help them recognize progressive changes their teachers, schools and districts need to make in order to meet the educational needs of our 21st century learners.  Many participants were forced out of their comfort zone as they produced podcasts, power point presentations with embedded video, Wordles, Skype conferences, blogs, and more.

Curriculum 21 is a progressive, yet practical guide for transforming our schools into modern day, real-time learning organizations that match the times in which we live.

Author and editor Heidi Hayes Jacobs collaborates with a team of ten education thought leaders to launch a persuasive case for overhauling, updating, and injecting life into the current K-12 curriculum. The book focuses on the following key areas:

  • content and assessment
  • media literacy
  • globalization
  • sustainability and
  • habits of mind

If you believe that an essential role of schooling is for students to graduate from high school college-ready and globally competent, then you will find this must-read book a valuable tool for understanding what a well-educated person in the 21st century needs to know and be able to do.  Jacobs’ book will help you prepare students to compete, connect, and cooperate with their peers around the world.

(Review written by Brenda Hatch, principal, Whittier Elementary School, Lawton)

Buy it on Amazon – Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World


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