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A Spell for Curriculum Depth: A Call to Slow the Haste and Embrace the Wonder

Based on a piece by Mary Myatt, Curriculum 101

To truly unlock the magic of the curriculum, one must heed the rhythm of time. Hastening through its secrets invites only shallow knowledge, fleeting glimpses of understanding, and a mere skim of its vast expanse. While once, schools sought to embolden their pace to vanquish the demons of disinterest and boredom, this has been proved to be a fallacy. Now, speed is the king, overshadowing the essence of the curriculum.

The curriculum, much like a feast, offers a bounty of knowledge to the young. But with haste as the ruler, one can only taste a few morsels before being whisked away to the next dish. This leaves the children with an unsatisfied hunger and indigestion. To truly honor the curriculum and the children's learning, one must move at an appropriate pace. Some elements require swiftness, but only when the children have grasped the concept and require further knowledge. Most of the time, however, things must slow down. The curriculum cannot be traversed at a breakneck pace, for it is only the destination that is reached without the necessary tools to gauge success.

When pace reigns supreme over the content's security, confusion between work and learning arises. To unravel the secrets of the curriculum, one must slow down and savor every morsel. Talking, discussing, making mistakes, and addressing misconceptions are essential ingredients of this spell. Mistakes should be celebrated, for they offer a gateway to new learning. The curriculum's demands require a deeper understanding, making haste no longer a viable option.

Slowing down allows pupils to engage with the material, to explore unfamiliar words, to discuss in context, and to make sense of the mysteries. It encourages inference, probing, checking, and sharing ideas with peers. Slowing down and delving deeper brings meaning to the children and allows them to choose fewer resources to study in-depth rather than racing through the material that has been "covered" but not truly learned.

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