It’s a Balancing Game

The more I learn about education and I guess life in general the more I think everything should be balanced. This balance should exist in simple ways, in our day to day. In college it is a balancing game of having fun with friends and studying for classes and working. I am convinced that balance is very important to education. Being able to see many points of view and being empathetic is essential. I felt a strong need for balance in my education classes this week.

For my class about school we had to read a book for our midterm. One of the main arguments of this book was that sameness in curriculum creates inequality. This makes a lot of sense to a point. Having a standard cookie cutter curriculum limits creativity for students and teachers. Every student is different, their interest are not the same and they have unique talents. A curriculum should be able to meet and interest each student. The book took this idea to an extreme in my opinion. Essentially it was saying that having a standard curriculum at all was wrong. There has to be some kind of standard, it can not just be a free for all. There is a base level of knowledge all children should have. All kids need to be able to read, do a certain level of math, know a background of some aspects of history, be familiar with some science. Some things can not be relative. Everyone does not believe this but I strongly believe in a universal truth. There are just some things that all children should be taught and learn about. This should just be the foundation though, I agree that it should be personalized from there.

In this class, Politics of Reading, we discussed scripted curriculum this week. I think that sticking to just the scripted curriculum is wrong and limits teachers. Reading from a script and not being able to personalize lessons is boring. However I do not think that scripted curriculum can be totally condemned. It is possible to use it properly. If a scripted lesson is used just as a skeleton for a lesson, it could be helpful. A skeleton lesson can be personalized and made into something really affective.

Extremes are bad because they just put one side against the other. Also they can take away from the focus on issues. I think that is just becomes about fighting the other side rather than find a compromise that can work for all. I think one of the main ways for reform to actual work it needs to be less political and more about the issues. If the competing party politics could be taken away education and students would become the real focus. It is so hard to hear from politicians that their main concerns are education and reform but it seems like nothing gets done. A lot of times this lack of change I really believe comes from this kind of gridlock.

Beth Gaudette

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One Response to It’s a Balancing Game

  1. whipp2015 says:

    Beth! I completely agree with you about universal truths. There ARE some things that should be taught to all students no matter what. Everyone should have a basic understanding of reading comprehension and writing. Students should all know basic math skills that can help them in life. I think learning needs to be differentiated when skills need to become more specialized. Obviously, not everyone is going to have in-depth knowledge about how to properly fix a computer system, but everyone should have a basic understanding of how to use a computer especially in this modern era. Having perspective and being able to see how both extremes can go awry is always positive.


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