Currently I am using project-based learning and moving to authentic learning. I do not have that down yet. I still feel driven by what I need to cover. Why?Depth v. Breadth
Those of us in public education are faced with a set of standards that we must teach our students within a certain time frame; in fact, we are legally bound to do so. But what does that mean if in the process of covering said standards, little time is given to deep inquiry or study of material in an academic manner?
Frankly, we now have a science test students must take in 11th grade. Even though I know those who do well will do well no matter what, I still feel we need to cover the material. How can I let that go?
And now that I am changing how I teach, parent pressure is becoming obvious. There are two teachers of Academic Biology. There is talk for both sides - parents who want their kids taught traditionally and those who want project-based. (I am not sure why I care - they have always wanted their students to have specific teachers in the past for other arguments).
I am no where near what we need to be and think this is a curricular issue that needs to be discussed first. We have never consulted with elementary teachers as well to align our curriculum better. I am encouraged that the administration has hinted at this already. Alignment to stop the overlap and repeats will help. De-emphasis on testing would be a bigger step.
He quotes Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen:
Great scope certainly makes for an impressive syllabus and perhaps even a feeling ofI for one do not remember much from High School. College perhaps a little more, but certainly not the breadth of material covered. In the past I was the teacher who said - look at all this work we did! What did that mean to the students? It is this last thought that continues to drive me to work towards the thought of core concepts and covering those thoroughly. How do you convince other teachers and driven parents and students to trust this idea vs. what has been?
accomplishment for those who pushed hard and got the highest marks. But how many of the students who got a ‘C’ or better will actually rememberwhat they studied a year later?
Tags: presentationzen, depthvbreadth, education, curriculum