Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Drawbacks of Scripted Packaged Curriculums

1.     Get one generation as the “tested generation,” and we’ll have a bunch of educators who cannot effectively imagine an alternative.”
2.     Regimes of high-stakes testing are pressuring teachers to change both their curriculum and teaching to match whatever is on the tests.

3.     No creative input or decision-making on the part of the teachers.
4.     Open Court tells teachers exactly which page to be on each day as well as every word and line they are allowed to say while teaching reading, all in preparation for the high-stakes testing.
5.     Considered by policy makers, administrators, and textbook manufacturers to be so unskilled and inept that they need to parrot the prewritten curriculum in order to be effective.
6.     If a student had a question, the SDI instructed teachers to repeat the script just previously read.
7.     Stifles creativity and dynamism. Muffles the voices of teachers and students.
8.     Disregards professional content-area expertise and knowledge of students, communities, and cultures.
9.     There’s no actual teaching required. It’s like instant curriculum.
10.  Encourages teachers’ submission instead of engagement, and pedagogic alienation instead of responsibility and connection to what happens in classrooms.
11.  Policy makers’ agenda for teachers is to take authority and judgment away from teachers, while structuring teacher pay schemes and pedagogies to hold people accountable for implementing plans
12.  Teachers thus bear huge amounts of responsibility for student test scores, but they aren’t being allowed to take responsibility for their teaching.
13.  Education policy assumes that teachers are incompetent and unqualified to engage children in learning about the world.
14.  High-stakes testing has utterly failed at increasing achievement anywhere close to the levels of other high-performing nations.
15.  High-stakes tests are ineffective at accurately measuring both teaching and learning.
16.  Teachers are not mindless robots programmed simply to perform the next pedagogical task on the educational assembly line.
17.  Curriculum that is rooted in a politics of social justice and student engagement. Teachers 4 Social Justice (T4SJ)
18.  Shortcomings in terms of race and multiculturalism (Educators’ Network for Social Justice (ENSJ)
19.  Teachers want to be active participants in their own pedagogy. They want to be engaged in the development of curriculum that is meaningful and important. Paying attention to students’ communities and cultures, and teaching in ways that encourage students to take up pressing social and ecological issues.
Au, Wayne. (Spring 2012). Playing Smart, Resisting the Script, Rethinking Schools, 26(3).

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