The curriculum is the collection of subjects comprising a course of study in school. The curriculum answers the question, "What should students know and be able to do?" The Design-Lab Schools Curriculum™ develops students in three major areas – knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Knowledge is the facts, information, concepts and ideas acquired by students through education that give them the theoretical or practical understanding of what is known about a particular subject or field. The goal of the acquisition of knowledge is to find out that which is true, rational, logical and justifiable as opposed to opinion or belief.
Skill is the ability to do something well. The development of skills is difficult work that takes time to develop into expertise. Failing to see the time and energy needed to develop skills makes people mistake skill for talent and believe that a particular skill is the result of a natural aptitude. At Design-Lab Schools we believe that there are no shortcuts to skill – the person who puts in the most time and energy will be the most skillful.
Dispositions are the qualities of mind and character that give us an inclination or tendency to behave in particular ways. Dispositions, like knowledge and skills, are learned and can be developed through education. Some dispositions characteristic of designers are curiosity (a strong desire to know or learn), courage (the strength of one’s convictions despite fear or disapproval), optimism (confidence in a successful future where good will prevail over evil), empathy (the ability to share and understand the feelings and needs of others) and diligence (careful and persistent work).