Dec 9, 2011 - Leadership, Random Education    Comments Off

What Do You Mean, Teachers Can’t Create Curriculum?

Are teachers capable of creating curriculum? Are they content experts or do they just a means of delivering pre-packaged instruction, not much different from a robot in the classroom? This seems to be another piece in the reoccurring theme that teachers aren’t professional enough to know how to actually teach. They must be provided scripts so that every student gets the same exact content every day, regardless of individual differences. It’s very frustrating to be an educator these days.

The other day I followed a twitter link to a blog post that discussed a technology adoption piece written in District Administration magazine. The condescending nature of some of the comments had the writer upset:

“… administrators can’t expect to be successful on the back of teacher-generated curriculum materials. Teachers are not curriculum producers; teachers are, well, teachers.” — Norris/Soloway, District Administrator

His response speaks to the frustration that I hear from many of my teacher friends:

“I guess as a teacher, I am not talented or smart enough to develop a rich curriculum that engages my students in learning while also anchoring that learning to whatever state curriculum is in the mic? I don’t have the tools to be thoughtful about development of activities with end-goals in mind? I don’t have the wherewithal to integrate technology in a meaningful way for a meaningful purpose for meaningful learning?” -Kevin Hodgson

I posted a FB link to Kevin’s blog , curious to see what others might think about this article. Here are the responses I received:

  • MD: OH MY WORD!!!!

    Thursday at 9:54am
  • TM: I’m thinking the government likes to keep teachers away from curriculum development in order to control … well, pretty much everything, including thinking.
    Thursday at 9:56am · likes  3
  • BC: Silly teachers, public school is for indoctrination.

    Thursday at 9:57am · likes 6
  • JA: The problems I find with it is simply there is either too much liability on the part of the teacher to be punished for students or parents taking things out of context, and too much freedom to abuse the privilege of authority that a teacher has to spread extremist or unacceptable ideals. Also parents would have to spend more time involved in their children’s life, and god knows no one wants that.

    Thursday at 10:03am  · likes 1
  • TM: Norris/Soloway attitude is an effective argument for homeschooling.

    Thursday at 10:07am  · likes 1
  • JA: I like the idea of homeschooling, but it is resource heavy, as in it takes a whole person away from working to fill that role, and many people just cannot adapt to a lifestyle that is lived without many of the luxuries that Americans live with.

    Thursday at 10:10am  · likes  1
  • BC: well at least they had the first part right: “Trust the experts when it comes to curriculum development.”

  • TM: John–homeschooling can better be accomplished, especially in the current economy, by pooling resources, like using several parents/guardians/grandparents to share the load for a number of students. Similar to a private school but with absolute control in the hands of parents.

    Thursday at 10:13am  ·  likes 2
  • JA: Good points Ben, education at any level in this country is treated as a business when it should not be.

    Thursday at 10:16am ·
  • JA:  Tom- I agree, but there seems to be a lack of that kind of concern for children even in the middle classes. The “kick ‘em out at 18″ mentality is prevalent in the vast majority.

    Thursday at 10:18am  ·  likes 1
  • TM:  Ben-Finland may have it right, especially considering they’re a democratic republic and lean less towards Socialism than most of the rest of Europe and potentially the USA.

    Thursday at 10:31am
  • BC: ‎….I’m writing a paper right now, I will be back to rebuttle that.

    Thursday at 10:32am ·
  • JK: At the university level, faculty are considered the subject matter experts in their fields. And we should not lead, guide, and otherwise generate the curriculum effort? Crazy talk.

    Thursday at 12:23pm  ·  likes 1

Comments are closed.