Kayhan Kishore Sanyal | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Leveraging Cognitive Surplus & Transforming Curriculum Design

Kayhan Kishore Sanyal, M.A. in Instructional Technology and Media

Apple (1990) deemed that “schooling and curriculum design is […] fundamentally linked to the structure of the social order in which we exist” (P.107). The social order that we live in today mostly reprimands questioning or critiquing and is embedded in a strong hierarchical system. Thus, I argue that the catalyst to questioning these deeply embedded societal hegemonies begins with reform of curriculum design to empower learners to develop the ‘generative themes’. By reimagining Wiggins, & McTighe’s , (2005) Understanding by Design framework through the lens of Freire’s (1974) critical pedagogy, I am exploring the design for a curriculum development and portfolio documentation platform that empowers students and teachers to co-develop curriculum. The platform intends to foster collaboration in these Communities of Learners by providing affordances that further the 4 pillars of the community namely a) Culture, b) Agency, c) Collaboration, and d) Reflection (Bruner, 1996) enabling individuals to become strong participants in furthering the community and its knowledge. The affordances are conceptualized to leverage the collective cognitive surplus (Shirky, 2010) of a community towards a common objective. The platform aims to nurture miniature communities focused on a dialogical approach to curriculum development where the students’ “emerging individuality […] is used to enrich the social community and […] [contest] the dictates of social reality” (Kliebard, 1995, p.54).

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