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the competencies required for a VUCA world difficult. “I am not advocating for a curriculum that is thin on knowledge. The notion that knowledge is becoming less important to teach because information can be googled is dangerous”. She explained that thinking is dependent on one’s personal knowledge. Critical thinking suggests that one can weigh evidence carefully and consider alternatives. This requires a knowledge-base to draw on. “Thinking creatively and innovatively is often the result of bringing together unrelated aspects of one’s knowledge”, she continued. “Some facts and detail can be googled, but even knowing what to google depends on what you already know”. The Centre for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) suggested that the curriculum be analysed to identify the core concepts and necessary

content that are important to learn. Gravett said that “relevance is crucial and, to use the words of the Harvard academic David Perkins, there should be an emphasis on what is life worthy in the 21st century”. Nurturing life-worthy knowledge To get life-worthy knowledge to children and youth does not require an overhaul of the existing curriculum, but a pruning of the curriculum content to create space for adding 21st-century skills. Deep learning is not possible in a crowded curriculum. “Integrating 21st-century skills in the curriculum requires careful decisions about which competencies to focus on during schooling”, explained Gravett. Piloting 4IR education in Limpopo The Sandbox Project is a pilot 4IR education project that is spearheaded by the National Education Collaboration Trust

(NECT). The project leaders developed a framework for 21st-century learning that has been initiated at 10 selected public primary schools (sandbox schools) in the Waterberg district of Limpopo. The Funda UJabule School on the UJ’s Soweto Campus will also participate. The project is meant to inform us about how 21st-century competencies could be infused into schools. “While implementing the pilot, UJ academics and postgraduate students will also research the implications for teacher education”, said Gravett. “Working in a research laboratory school, such as the one on the UJ Soweto Campus, gives us the opportunity to observe and to record how teachers deal with a sandbox curriculum”. The Waterberg schools may show us what the possibilities and challenges are in everyday practice, which is what we need to proceed in everyday practice with a feasible curriculum for the future that our children face.



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