Many school curriculums are based on the Carnegie Units which were developed by the Carnegie Foundation over 100 years ago. In 1993, Ernest L. Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation stated, I'm convinced the time has come once and for all to bury the old Carnegie unity. Further since the foundation I now head created this academic measurement a century ago, I feel authorized this morning to officially declare the Carnegie unit obsolete."
Dr. Boyer suggest eight thematic units as described below
- The life cycle: birth life and death; nutrition, health and wellness; and a project that requires care of some form of life
- Proficiency in the use of symbols: the miracle of words; reading, writing, speaking and mathematics; and ethics of communication
- Response to the aesthetic: arts are the special language of children, every child can be artistically expressive; and "The language of angels"
- Time and Space: Generations learn from each; Culture of our past; and Must learn to serve
- Learning about the social web of our existence: group cultures, families and institutions
- Producing, consuming, and conserving: nature of work
- Understanding our connectedness to nature: natural world
- Seeking a larger purpose: values and beliefs and must have convictions