you're reading...
Education in the Media, School Stories


I came across a new term today: co-curricular, well new to me. Now as my husband will attest, I make up words all the time. It is part humor, part just how I think and partly that I am just the world’s worst speller. So when I first read this term, I immediately thought, oh my goodness, this is it! This is how we can talk about the co-created curriculum that we will feature at the Summa Academy. Other people are talking about how to birth curriculum in relationship with the student, the teacher and the family–co-curriculum –how wonderful and what  a perfect way to express the idea.

Anyone who knows me will also tell you that I am a bit of an optimist, and often give people a little more credit than they are often due (at times). Well unfortunately this was one of those times. Imagine my disappointment when I Googled [why does spell check not recognize this as a word yet, sheesh] the term and found out that it is used commonly to mean “complementing but not part of the regular curriculum.” Blah. Not interesting. When I was a kid we called these electives. Why invent a new term when that one did just fine?

Okay, get over the disappointment and put my thinking cap on… I need a new word that represents the idea that curriculum can and should be co-created by the student, the teacher and the parent, in relationship to the student’s natural talents, stage of development, areas of need and individual passions. I know we are not the first to think of this, and it is a brilliant concept, so let’s create a new word so that we can all find one another (hello # on twitter) and bring this great concept forward. The keys seem to be curriculum, create and relationship. How about Creacurrucularship? Too long. Co-curricularship, I’m liking that one. Or relacreaculum. What do you think?

About ambersk

During her 17 years with Summa, Amber has taught Natural Learning Relationships to hundreds of parents, led dozens of school groups in ropes course experiences, brought children from the inner city to the outdoors, and planned and executed Summa’s programs for families, Teachers, and children. She is now Executive Director and she lives in Portland with her husband and two daughters (Ruby 5 and Naomi 2).


4 thoughts on “Co-curricular

  1. I have been spending too much time with Derrida, and now find a need to erase words related to “curriculum”.

    How about “Reciprocal Learning” within which ‘students’ would learn to be ‘teachers’, and vice versa.

    Posted by Brent Snavely | September 14, 2011, 6:19 pm
  2. I like it! We have also used learning plan instead of curriculum. But there is so much out there on creating this kind of curriculum or that kind. What about the kind that is in relationship to the real needs of the student AND the teacher AND the parent. That would be super duper awesome huh?

    Posted by ambersk | September 14, 2011, 6:22 pm
  3. Well I always saying learning adventure…. as it might have a goal in mind but the journey or the process to get in often the most important part. And like adventures in cars, you can be the driver, or you can lets someone else drive(teacher) or you can pick up hitchhikers or make it a roadtrip (group project)….

    I guess I am bias too because I have a blog called Adventures in Learning…. and I do like the idea that learning is action based, fun and moves you forward, but also allows for detours, rest stops and often loud music, wind blowing through your hair…

    Amber, I always love your post because me to play!


    Posted by dloitz | September 14, 2011, 6:49 pm
  4. We use negotiation at our school – early on in the life of this blog we wrote a lot about authentic and personally meaningful learning here and on some of our own blogs.

    Let me know if it would be helpful to share more specifics or to point towards specific posts.


    Posted by Chad Sansing | September 14, 2011, 9:43 pm

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,099 other followers

Comments are subject to moderation.

%d bloggers like this: