Daily Archives: October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011: The ‘Concept Based Curriculum’ – Ken Robinson & Steve Jobs – Differentiated Teaching: Originally posted January 2010….

I wrote this post in January 2010 after an IBO workshop – The ‘Concept Based’ Curriculum. I remember carefully selecting Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement address to share, and support my educational philosophy. As teachers, and humans we need to reflect on our purpose, our goals and the footprint we leave behind. Steve Jobs’ footprint is amazing. The world lost an innovator, educator and ‘good bloke’ yesterday. Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

“you can’t connect the dots looking forwards, you can only count them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future” Steve Jobs 2005

Original Post: January 2010

I’ve just spent three days at the IBO Asia-Pacific Workshop and completed the workshop – ‘The Written Curriculum’. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but on reflection it was far better than what I thought I’d be learning. The notion of the ‘teacher proof’ curriculum was introduced to me and now I understand why this is not the curriculum I want in our schools. I also now understand what a ‘concept based’ curriculum is. These two notions seem small, but in reality they’re huge.

It has enabled me to understand the difference between teaching a topic versus a concept.  So what’s the difference?

A concept is,

broad and abstract



share common attributes – represented by different examples

The concept based curriculum enables students to build knowledge and inquire. The ‘dots will connect’ as in Steve Jobs’ speech included in my earlier post and this post. I can see the connections between what Ken Robinson and Steve Jobs are saying. What do you think?

I’d like to thank our presenters, Scott and Nicole for reintroducing me to Sir Ken Robinson. We watched and discussed Ken Robinson’s interview on the 7.30 Report -ABC. You’ll have to go to the ABC site to watch the interview, but I have included two presentations by Ken Robinson below.

‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ Steve Jobs 2005

Post Script: I’ve listened to Steve Jobs’ address today and what have I learnt? Reflect to ‘connect the dots’, reflect to learn, leave a footprint you will be proud of, reflect to set goals,  except your past, learn from life’s experiences, but most importantly move forward to achieve your dreams.

‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’ Steve Jobs 2005

Cheers Nina

Nina’s Arena supports: The Fresh Air Fund


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