The Future of Teaching, Curation of Meaningful Learning Experiences

Content creation requires insights, relevance and the ability to anticipate future interests.



As Clay Shirky has famously pointed out, publishing is no longer a job or an industry, it’s a button.

We’re all creating content, as originators or commentators, which is then shared and re-shared many times over. The resulting cascade of information requires new content organization and consumption techniques, and the disciplines, competencies and skills of content curation are now critical.

According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and the majority of this data (90 per cent) has been created in the last two years alone.

Traditional learning has focused on provision of discipline focused static formal courses. They don’t reflect how we actually learn nor the nature of work that we are facing.

We now have to help people learn to learn forever.

That means building a learning culture which looks externally for the most meaningful and current insights. That means finding, filtering, and sharing the most recent, most relevant content and designing an engaging experience for immediate internalization of that content in a certain context.

That also means a mind shift from creation of formal learning curriculum to curation for continuous learning experiences.

In the introduction to Poets at Work, Abbott (1948) recounts his initial decision to dedicate his research collection to the curation of twentieth-century Anglophone poetry:

“It is kind of downright master-building compels a strict specialization. It requires love, a purposed and resolute attachment that will not diminish in strength, however long and slow the period of construction” (p. 6)

Curators have a primary responsibility for the acquisition, care, display, and interpretation of relevant works. Their main objective is to foster context to visitors.

There are clear bridges within the transformation journey for both a teacher and a curator.

This reflection is the result of over 40 interviews with curators in 10 countries and the readings of curation related documents and courses.

I encourage you to reflect by exchanging the word “curator” by “teacher”, I will insert some quotes from my interviews and hopefully I will provoke some “what if” moments.

In “Acts of Curation”


In “Acts of Curation,” Jim Maynard highlights the etymology of the word curate, calling our attention to
the role of care that underlies what we now call curating. Truly, in all its present possibilities, the word curate suggests mindful attention and thoughtful selection.

Curators build trust and rapport with communities and act with uncompromising integrity, serving as overseers of the world’s most meaningful possessions.

To curate refers to the creative and critical principles of that role, but also more specifically, to the particular conceptions of and assumptions about curating that underlie and inform—sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously—the activities of collecting, cataloging, archiving, editing, and exhibiting.

The word “curation” comes from the Latin verb curare, meaning to care for, and refers to a guardianship, with a meaning of healing. Most generally, to curate something is to select, organize, display and take care of it.

Next page- What a curator is required to do.

Fernando Valenzuela
Fernando Valenzuela
Fernando is currently head of Aspen Institute education program in Mexico and Partner at Global Impact Edtech Alliance. He was formerly President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background. He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, board member at Inroads. He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA, the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America. There Fernando lead the transformation of the educational models and creating high value learning experiences by engaging students with technology. Website LinkedIn