Yesterday as I was checking out the apps I had downloaded for my new iPad a thought occurred to me I never use a productivity application to its fullest capabilities. I learn to use what I need to do when I need to do it, nothing more. This made me think: Is there something wrong with using only part of a tool if it fulfills my needs?
I realize that it is a ridiculous question. My next thought was what if curriculum is the same way? Do students really need to have a deep understanding of every objective? Is a basic understanding of plants good enough or do we really need to know the names of all the parts? Can't we look up what we don't know?
I understand that some knowledge is very necessary, but can you say that about most of your curriculum? Do the students really need to "deeply understand" all of it? If we spent more time teaching critical thinking, problem solving, and information vetting they could find the answers they need. Shouldn't we stop wasting their time focusing on the trivial?
Let's get back to teach curriculum that is a mile wide and an inch deep.