I usually try to have a little more tact and subtlety when it comes to discussing the readings and discussions that we have in class. I’d rather write about a thought or a relevant anecdote than to start my posts off with, “In my reading I learned __blah!__, and it made me feel like __bloop!___,” but today is an exception.
In my reading for class tomorrow, I learned about scripted curriculum and private stakeholders, and it made me feel like I had to do something. Well, sort of the way you feel like you need to do something when you’re watching a train wreck (because those happen so often) – you want to do something, but you’re not totally sure what’s in your power, what you can stop, or if it’s an act of God that you’re not even supposed to tamper with (I mean, maybe the train is filled with money).
But basically, I had a lot of emotions while I was going through the reading. Essentially the author was arguing that enacting scripted curriculum programs focused on teaching reading sucks a lot of the power away from teachers and meaningful educational experiences for students. In this way, students who need the most support are receiving a much less accommodating and adaptive educational experience particular to their needs. The author describes this as a result of the big business, profit-oriented agenda driving testing and curriculum packages.
I typically have issues with argumentative pieces like this. Even if I agree with something, when it’s written in a hostile or overly commanding or knowing sort of way, I find it much more difficult to connect with it. However, the arguments and reasoning behind this piece were seemingly presented as facts. There wasn’t a great deal of exorbitant opinions about the state of our education system and how we’re all doomed because of the evil people higher up.
Instead, there is a reasonable argument presented, and it provokes some incredibly provocative questions. How much power do teachers really have? Were things ever any different? Should the federal government put more focus on dealing with other systemic issues that root issues like poverty (compared to deficits in standardized test scores in reading)?
Regardless, one of my most salient discoveries/take-aways from this reading was that teachers can’t improve and adjust to their students if they’re rigidly relying on a scripted curriculum. Additionally, another important revelation was that things need to change. However, after reflection, I realized that a purposeful call to action was missing from this piece.
By the end of this piece, the author could have advised us on how to solve some of these issues. If he had, I would’ve been all over it. However, there wasn’t anything there. I’m sure that suggestions will come later on in the course, and I’m incredibly ready to hear them. When I get some ideas generated, I’ll do another post. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts, feel free to comment below. And…
Just in case you’re interested. Here’s a (likely temporary) link to the article of focus for this week: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2F5x4xqKinUaDZyV3lvU3FlaXc/view