Introducing the New World Curriculum
About 71% of the Earth’s surface area is covered by the oceans. Though referred to in the plural, and ascribed different names, it is a single ocean, as all oceans are interconnected. At the Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society, we believe that just like the oceans, all life on Earth is interconnected. The Indian Ocean belongs to the whole world. Likewise, IOCES strives to serve the whole world.
While as the Director of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) (2014-2020), I initiated and led a broad-based consultative process for articulating future competences that all global citizens need to thrive in and be fulfilled at in the fast-changing 21st century life and work contexts. The initiative culminated in a global reference point for countries and institutions seeking to create future-forward curricula that can guide the preparation of learners for their complex futures: Marope, M., Griffin, P. and Gallagher, C. (2017) Future Competencies and the Future of Curriculum: A Global Reference for Curricula Transformation, UNESCO IBE: Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2020, as the global education community was reeling under the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IOCES joined countries and institutions that use the IBE’s global reference point to guide curricula transformation. Aligned with its mantra to “serve the whole world”, the IOCES developed a Grade 6 to 8 world curriculum to meet the following learning objectives: (i) develop lifelong learning skills through curiosity, creativity and critical thinking; (ii) demonstrate self-agency including initiative, drive, motivation, endurance, grit, resilience, and responsibility; (iii) apply diverse tools and resources in an impactful, efficient, and responsible manner; (iv) relate with others locally and globally, in the spirit of collaboration, mutual respect, empathy, collegiality, peace and harmony.
Learning outcomes for the grades 6 to 8 Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and English are aligned with the above-outlined objectives. In action, the curricula facilitate learners’ development of select competences. True to form, the IOCES Standing Committee on World Curriculum adopted a comparative approach and analyzed international and national curricula to support the articulation of the new subject curricula. The results of comparisons of science curricula were recently published in Vol. 5 No. 1 of World Voices Nexus: The WCCES Chronicle.
To ensure relevant and engaging Social Studies curricula, the IOCES used themes from key events that reshaped the new world order. For example, the world wars, colonization, apartheid, the rise of various religions, spirituality etc. Consistent with the competence orientation of the new world curriculum, the English as a Second Language curriculum emphasizes not just mastery of grammar—for non-native speakers—but more importantly the application of that grammar in work and life contexts.
By mid 2022, the IOCES will usher the world curriculum for Grades 9 to 10. Grades 11 and 12 will follow in 2023. For the higher grades curricula, the global future competence approach will be enriched by emerging analytical work on the future of education and work, from credible sources like the World Economic Forum, the ILO, WEBIT Future of Education and work led by the Honorary President of the IOCES, and landmark projects like “Aligning High School World Curriculum to the Expectations of the IT Industry in Silicon Valley (USA)” to be undertaken by IOCES later this year and supported by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In continuous support for lifelong learning, the IOCES plans to develop higher education programs up to the doctoral level.
As an international nonprofit organization, IOCES and its partners are committed to deliver this curriculum through innovative online pedagogies to underprivileged and vulnerable children with 100% scholarship across the globe.
Prof Mmantsetsa Marope (PhD)
Honorary President, IOCES
Executive Director, World Heritage Group
Paris, France, 18 May 2021