Principle I: Relevance to students’ current and future lives
The most important criterion for deciding what students learn should be relevance to students’ current and future lives—what they need to learn to become happy, healthy, caring, successful adults who contribute to their communities in an unpredictable, increasingly high-tech future. The curriculum should focus on helping each student find their passion and cultivate their individual talents to pursue that passion and on making the world a better place.
Principle J: Whole-child education
There is strong evidence that students benefit greatly from education that addresses all aspects of human development: social, emotional, identity, physical, psychological, and ethical, as well as cognitive.
Principle K: Balance of universal content and individual strengths
There is some content that all students should learn: some basic skills, many higher-order thinking skills, self-direction skills, interpersonal skills, emotional development, civic skills and understandings, parenting skills, some character traits, and more. We call this universal content. In addition, a considerable amount of each student’s learning time should be devoted to cultivating each student’s individual strengths, interests, and talents.
Principle L: Sound progressions in content
Whatever content you select, your team should organize it around sound progressions, so that learning is neither too difficult nor too easy for each student. We offer methods for helping to design such progressions.