Book Review

Curriculum 21

Essential Education for a Changing World

edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, ASCD, Alexandria, Va., 2010, 251 pp, $26.95 softcover

Renowned curriculum designer Heidi Hayes Jacobs lays out in Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World a proven process for school district teams to audit their curriculum and make relevant adjustments in order to prepare students for success in the 21st century.

Curriculum 21


Calling upon the collective work of 10 education leaders, the book provides insight on the following key areas: content and assessment, media literacy, globalization, sustainability and habits of mind.

This book provides a guide for school staff to answer the essential question as to what it means to be educated in the 21st century. Students no longer are primarily consumers of content; they prefer to participate as content creators.

Jacobs includes detailed examples of schools throughout the country that run exemplary programs. The case studies, resources and website suggestions can be used by staff to engage students in relevant, rigorous learning. The emphasis is on analysis of student work with teachers giving feedback for continuous improvement.

This book would be useful for entire faculties to apply in their plans for 21st-century teaching and learning. Students must be empowered to take more responsibility for contributing to their own learning and their learning community. Curriculum 21 emphasizes practical elements to make that happen.

Reviewed by Diane E. Reed, associate professor and co-director, graduate educational leadership program, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y.