Every so often I run across something that makes me think there may be hope for American education yet.
Robert Podisco’s piece “Time to Connect Professional Development and Teacher Training to Curriculum” at EducationNext earlier this month was one such encounter.
Slowly, slowly, a small but persuasive body of work is emerging which raises curriculum to an object of pressing concern for educators, and expresses long overdue appreciation for the idea that the instructional materials we put in front of children actually matter to student outcomes. A welcome addition to this emerging corpus is a new Aspen Institute paper by Ross Wiener and Susan Pimentel, which makes a compelling case—equally overdue—that professional development and teacher training ought to be connected to curriculum. A primary role of school systems, states, districts, and charter-management organizations, the pair write, “is to create the conditions in schools through which teachers can become experts at teaching the curriculum they are using and adapting instruction to the needs of their particular students.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think making sure teachers are experts at teaching curriculum is long overdue.
And I’m sure the English teachers with 15 or more years experience who tell me they’ve never had any instruction in how to teach writing will agree it’s time to shake up teacher preparation and professional development.
It’s time to move to a new schoolhouse model.
Read the rest of Podisco’s piece at EducationNext.