Suggested core concepts

  Identifying the core concepts that underlie the most important public policy issues facing us needs to emerge from an extended conversation between many people of diverse backgrounds and expertise.
Each of us will have a unique focus and list; here is mine.


A PostPandemic Curriculum is not meant to turn students into polymaths with expertise in a wide range of disciplines.  Rather, the goal is to give every student the fundamental concepts and language they’ll need to understand, and meaningfully engage in, complex policy discussions as citizens.

In all discussions of public policy a variety of disparate core concepts interact and reinforce each other (eg. deductive logical errors arising out of the use of statistical averages due to the common cognitive distortion of framing bias).  This overlap is why the core “preparation-for-citizenship” concepts should be woven into every element of a PostPandemic Curriculum, rather than segregated by traditional subject disciplines.

[In the list below, those core concepts that have descriptions are in black text.  Those concepts that do not yet have a description are in grey text.]
    • Core concepts related to the Maths
        • Exponentials  • Scale  • Population stats  •  Logic  • Simulations  • Risk analysis  • Recursion  • Game theory  • Signal vs Noise  • Emergent behaviour  • Deep time
    • Core concepts related to the Sciences
        •  Scientific method  • Climate •  Entropy •  Complexity •  Disease transmission •  Electro-magnetic radiation •  Eco-systems •  Genetics
    • Core concepts related to the Mind : in progress:  • Cognitive distortions  • Reality vs Model  • Linguistic distortions  •  Brain Plasticity  • Thinking vs Feeling  •  Cultural Influences  • Hierarchy of Needs
    • Core Concepts related to our Societies: in progress:  • Comparative belief systems  • Cultural diversity •  World history •  The dynamics of crowds • Oppression  • Self-Identity and “The Other”
    • Core Concepts related to Communications• Fact-based writing  • Graphic representation of data  • Write/Edit for the reader  • The Curse of Knowledge  •  Improvisation




Concepts not central to being an engaged citizen
Some concepts which are central to our modern understanding of the world and which are at the heart of much of our technology have little to do with the pressing public policy issues facing us.  Although these concepts will remain essential elements of specialty-preparation curriculum, and some will remain important elements of a well-rounded general curriculum, they are not relevant to our focus here.  (eg. Einstein’s Relativity, Darwin’s/Russel’s Natural selection, Rutherford’s atom, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty, even Newton’s Gravity and Pythagoras’ Trigonometry, play little, if any, role in policy discussions.)   more……