(40.) U is for Unity of Curriculum

(40.) U is for Unity of Curriculum

(40.) U is for Unity of Curriculum

“Everything, I am profoundly convinced, is connected with everything else; the universe, my life, the past, the future, all this is a oneness, in which each part bears a relation to each other part… I see in the world, this phenomenal world, in nature, in the achievements of men, in myself, I see the mysterious connection, this oneness. There is nothing you can explore in all the universe which is not related to everything else.” (Malcom Muggeridge). I too am convinced that reality tells us this, that historical events didn’t happen in a vacuum, that people of influence didn’t just appear outside of a context, that cultures didn’t develop without a meaningful interplay of religion and geography and the arts and the sciences and politics and economics and trade and literature and everything else that effected that group of people.

Reality is one rich tapestry of threads woven together by the loom of life. So why isn’t it studied that way? Looking at most curricular designs, one would think that each thread should be studied in isolation, as if there was no connectedness whatsoever. It’s no wonder students tend to misunderstand or totally miss the big picture. Standard curriculum has little unity or interplay between the content areas, and that’s a mistake. Disconnected disciplines lead to scatter-knowledge, which leads to confusion, lack of understanding,¬†and something no better than trivial pursuits.

A Christ-centered curriculum done right provides the big organizing questions, the coherent vision and biblical perspective which lead to an understanding of the truth of the matter. Neil Postman says it best in his book Technopoly: “Perhaps the most important contribution schools can make to the education of our youth is to give them a sense of coherence in their studies, a sense of purpose, meaning, and interconnectedness in what they learn. Modern education is failing, because it has no moral, social or intellectual center. There is no set of ideas or attitudes that permeates all parts of the curriculum. The curriculum is not, in fact, a ‘course of study’ at all but a meaningless hodgepodge of subjects.”