An (aspiring) Educator’s Blog

An educator blogging….novel idea.

Archive for the ‘Teacher Education’ Category

Response: Five Things Schools Must Do to Avoid Extinction

with 2 comments

Over at Gravity and Levity, Dave wrote a post entitled Five Things Schools Must Do to Avoid Extinction. Dave says schools need to embrace cell phones and iPods, stop blocking internet use, have teachers who police their own ranks, have school-based merit pay, and make sure teachers have experience in the arts.

Upon reading his list, I came up with two versions of my own. The first:

Five Things Schools Must Do to Avoid Extinction:

1. Recharge community spirit. There are many negative stereotypes (and harsh realities) about parental involvement in struggling schools. New research suggests parents of children who attend schools in low-income communities want more opportunities to engage with the school. Administrators and teachers must innovate how we reach out to parents of different economic realities, languages, and cultures. Schools should be part of the foundation of community renewal.

2. Invest in intellectual and professional communities of teachers. Schools, teacher preparation programs, unions, and other stakeholders must work together to create a system where mentor-apprentice relationships thrive, collaboration (between teachers in and across schools) is the norm, and all teachers have access to research-based and field tested pedagogical strategies.

3. Allow kids to play and think for themselves. Recent studies link recess and free choice time to academic and social success. As I’ve said in earlier posts, “I’m a constructivist: I think that children construct their own knowledge when they encounter experiences that intrigue and challenge them”. Children form and challenge schema through play.

4. Re-interpret the one room schoolhouse. Americans seem most comfortable in clear hierarchies – especially the ones we have created in schools. Grades are an example – we group children by age and establish rigid definitions for what it means to be at or below grade level. We track students by academic and language “ability” and social behavior. I understand why administrators and teachers prefer tracking: it seems like the most efficient way to deliver content at the level of students. I see classrooms like families. In a household, family members learn from each other even though they are different ages and have different goals/needs. Older siblings learn from younger siblings, parents learn from children, etc. Families are communities of learners just like schools should be. Instead of thinking about classrooms in terms of the supposed age or level of the students, we should think about them as diverse learning communities, where the different abilities of students help them learn from each other.

5. Acknowledge differences in culture without negative comparison to the culture of power. Instead of embracing the diversity we see in our learning communities, we often wage campaigns to rid children of differences. Although students must learn English in school to succeed in our society, we should praise the their status as students who navigate more than one culture and language successfully. Home cultures influence how students interpret and learn from the world we create at school. We must try to understand where are students come from with an attitude of respect.

Now, a more satirical list:

Five Things (“Underperforming”) Schools Must Do to Avoid Extinction:

1. “Smoke ’em out”. Cycle through new leaders and teachers each year. As George W would say, we have to smoke underachieving teachers and administrators out of their caves.

2. Scripting: eliminate the “teach” from teaching and replace it with a script. Community building, figuring out student needs, teaching students at their social and developmental pace is too hard. Reading a script, snapping fingers, and waiting for answers in game-show style is better.

3. Woo foundations and nonprofit organizations. There is a positive correlation between money available for grants and sound pedagogical decision-making, right?

4. Keep kids away from their communities and alienate parents. There is a positive correlation between time spent keeping children out of their community and test scores, right?

5. Support programs that bring new, unexperienced, teachers to the most needy students. We want teachers who are young and creative enough to innovate the education system (but whose lack of access to, and practice using, research-based educational strategies leaves them little recourse but to use uber-traditional practices).


“Don’t tase me, bro!” (AKA – the Obligatory Edublogger TFA Post)

with 14 comments

This post is inspired by a debate I’m having with JR Atwood on playthink:

JR Atwood: TFA does not aim, I don’t think, to create lifelong professional educators. What it does aim to do is help provide the human capital necessary to at least make a significant impact in the teacher shortage epidemic and to expose high-achieving college graduates, who might not otherwise understand just how deep the public education system is fractured, to the students and families — the people! — that make-up the dire statistics that fill newspaper editorials, speeches by politicians, and on blogs like yours and mine calling for drastic education reform.

Educatorblog: I’m tired of at-risk children being life and learning experiments for affluent adults.

Rewind to two years ago. I’m sitting in my politics seminar with 11 of my peers. We’re discussing race, poverty, and education reform. We’ve just spent the past few months reading about all of the problems – the poverty, health problems, low performing schools, and violent and/or economically depressed neighborhoods that many students face. The professor suggests that TFA might be the solution to all of our problems – a bunch of elite college students can solve just about any problem. Even if TFAers don’t remain in the profession, they’ve had a valuable learning experience that will influence their leadership.  My peers nod in agreement – my school was considered to be a ‘TFA feeder’. About 15 – 20% of each class applied and many got into the program. TFA posters adorn the dining hall, dorm cork boards, and just about every other blank space.

I wasn’t nodding. I started to talk about the mixed findings that studies in peer reviewed journals have had about the impact of TFA – Kerr and Berliner (2002), the infamous Darling-Hammond (2005) study, the Mathematica evaluation (2004), and many others. I take a bold position against TFA – I say that it should be torn to shreds and its financial remains fed to other programs. My peers jump on me. To them, TFA is common sense – what could go wrong with putting the best college students in the worst classrooms? My arguments about professionalism, opportunity cost, the importance of teacher preparation, school support, and what we now call the “Bold Approach” to education reform, fall on closed ears. Cynics like me and our education heresy were public enemy number 1 – the opponents of “real change”. After 20 minutes of raised voices and finger pointing my professor changed the topic (to the Thernstroms and the Bell Curve – I would encounter finger pointing and raised voices again that afternoon).

It’s two years later and I’ve changed my position: We need to reform TFA.

The major premise of my proposed reforms is that TFA and weak schools share the same problem: the mismanagement of human capital. When TFAers and traditional teachers aren’t given the professional tools that they need to succeed, too much of their passion and intellect goes to waste. The quality of education opportunities provided to at-risk students should be the most important factor in decision-making. I don’t like the argument that the primary purpose of TFA is to expose elite students to problems in education – there are many cost-effective ways of exposing college students and young professionals to the education sector without putting the learning of students at risk. Example: my college gave me a grant to volunteer full-time at an alternative school inside of a juvenile detention center. It was almost like student teaching. I worked 30 – 40 hour weeks. I spent most of my day in the classroom. After class was over, I took an intern position with the administrative side. Over the course of the summer I gained more responsibilities. The classroom teacher was a highly qualified and caring special education instructor – the students’ learning experiences were not sacrificed for mine. This experience and many others inspired me to become a professional educator in a Title I school.

The reforms:

1. TFAers need better preparation. As any educator will tell you, scaffolds are important to learning. Scaffolds coupled with classroom experiences can jumpstart a TFAers learning process. Master teachers, administrators, and researchers should not only teach TFAers in seminars, but critique their work as student-teachers. Currently, the TFA training program is 5 weeks. I propose that TFAers make the transition from student teacher –> co-teacher –> classroom teacher in a period of 4 – 8 months. Classroom experiences must complement academic coursework about best practices, professional development, and serving the needs of learners (English language learners, at-risk students, students in special education, etc). Students could be student teachers by day and take courses in the evening (many schools of education use this model in accelerated MA+credential programs that last for 12 months). The course and clinical work completed are transferable to a traditional MA+credential program. Since this training period is so short and leads to a complete certification and MA, TFAers could still put in 2 – 5 years of service.

2. TFAers need more support. Many of my friends in TFA say that they do not receive professional support from master teachers or administrators. Even after TFAers are full-fledged teachers, they need a network of master teachers and administrators who can help them troubleshoot and develop their teaching philosophy. As a part of the TFA placement contract, administrators must promise to provide networks that include their best master teachers.

TFA could be a true reform leader – the reforms I suggest for TFA could be used in existing teacher prep  and school district induction programs. Penny for your thoughts?

In case you didn’t get the title reference (or if you did get the reference and enjoy watching the video):

Has My Race Become a Commodity? (A Reflection About Teacher Ed Admissions)

with 6 comments

“How would factors such as your background, work and life experiences, special interests, culture, socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity contribute to the diversity of the entering class, and hence to the experience of your classmates? Please describe these factors and their relevance (700 characters maximum)”. This was the topic of the second essay for my teacher ed program application. The first essay I wrote explained all of my teaching, academic, travel, extra-curricular, and work experiences in detail. In this essay, I had to take a page to describe why my socioeconomic status (SES), blackness, and cultural elements should matter to the university.

I completed this part of the application last – I didn’t want to sound like a race radical/separatist or an “Uncle Tom”. How could I explain how my views on my SES and blackness – views that have developed over the 22 years of my existence – in the space of a page? Why does diversity matter in teacher ed programs (or education institutions in general)? Should I talk about race at all? Has my blackness become a commodity (see commodity fetishism)?

The issue of race commodification in education has bothered me for some time. Elite institutions that lack diversity provide me with financial incentives to endure the environment and create learning experiences for students. On one hand, this is necessary. In most of my classes (from politics and economics to literature and science), I was the only African-American student. These classes discussed many issues pertaining to race, gender, and SES. My input provided students with a POV they had never heard before. On the other hand, am I a human zoo? Do the responsibilities/burdens of being the lone black voice in the room undermine my sense of self?

Here is what I wrote:

As a learning lab for the next generation of teachers, ____ must create an environment where aspiring teachers are aware of issues regarding race and socioeconomic standing. The ultimate goal of teachers will be to create learning environments that are tolerant of many cultures and identities. The ___ classroom must be populated with students who are not afraid to discuss their own identities and explore different cultures. I believe that I would be a discussion leader in the classroom. I know how to create a learning environment where people are not afraid to explore these challenging issues. As an African-American educated in environments that lack diversity, I have learned how to make my diversity a positive learning experience for my peers and myself.

The path of my intellectual development is intertwined with the development of my racial identity. When I was a student in elementary school, I did not consider myself to be a black child. I grew up in a predominately white middle-class suburb. Although African-American students comprised 20% of my elementary and middle schools, I was cloistered from those students. I sat in the front of the classroom and took accelerated classes. I noticed that most African-American students populated special education courses or sat in the back of the classroom. As I grew older, my racial consciousness increased. During middle school, I noticed that my race had a tangible impact on my relationships with teachers and other students.  My black peers accused me of “acting white”. They were hostile toward me. My white peers never explicitly ridiculed my “blackness” but their confusion about my identity was implied by their actions. They questioned my academic interests and joked my bad 7th grade basketball tryout. The influence that my race had on my peer relationships was not as troubling as the effect it had on my relationships with teachers. Before teachers knew my name or my level of academic achievement, I was grouped with low-performing students in the back of the classroom and given information about remedial classes. When my teachers realized that I excelled in academics, they paraded my achievements in front of other students of color, as if to say “Candace is black, well-mannered, and talented…Why can’t you measure up?”.

In the 9th grade, I decided to find a social and academic environment that was more sensitive to diversity. I transferred into an all-girls international boarding school. In many ways, the environment was less diverse than public school. Even though most of the student body came from foreign countries and spoke multiple languages, I found that I was still the only black person in the classroom, and one of few people struggling to pay tuition. This environment did not create feelings of isolation because students treated socioeconomic and cultural differences as learning experiences rather than barriers. In the classroom, when we discussed literature, politics, history, or economics, my peers made it clear that they wanted to understand my point of view on issues of race. Their questions led me to explore areas of my identity that I had not explored before. I read academic research about race, politics, and economics; tried to analyze history from a new perspective that questioned popular ideas about race; and worked to create an environment where my peers and I could challenge each other’s ideas about race and class without becoming defensive or resorting to personal attacks.

When I started college, I found that most of my peers had never conversed with a person of color, did not think that race was an issue worthy of discussion or study, or were defensive about the topic. Instead of remaining passive about issues of race and dismissing its importance in my life, I decided to become a discussion leader. When people ask me questions about my racial identity, I take the time to answer their questions and ask them questions about their experiences. I continue to research the topic. If I feel like my peers are being insensitive or using hate speech, I am not afraid to ask questions about their comments, and explain my stance. I believe that my ability to integrate this kind of discussion into classroom activities will create a positive experience for my peers.

What are your thoughts on these issues? Why does diversity matter in teacher ed programs?

An Educator’s Guide to Post-Modern Authorship and Literacy in the Classroom

with 5 comments

Blog Post Summary: Teachers hold a unique and powerful position in the debate about what constitutes authorship and plagiarism. These debates are important because they shape the future of scholarship and art. When a teacher sets an intellectual boundary for what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable work, they are molding the intellectual processes of students. Educators must help students understand the rights and responsibilities of authorship while allowing for innovative acts of assemblage.

This post is adapted from a paper I wrote and presented at the Thinking and Speaking a Better World Conference (April 2008, Slovenia).

What is plagiarism?

If you search for the terms “plagiarism”, “college”, and “high school” in the Lexis Nexus academic databases, you’ll get over 1,000 article hits from around the world. The Guardian, Korea Times, the Statesman (India), the Times (London), the Independent (London), and the Sunday Times (South Africa) are just a few of the international news outlets that published stories about the issue over the past six months. Many articles sounded alarm at the incidence of cheating on high school and college campuses, by students, professors, and university leaders alike. An article in the Sunday Times titled “Institutes of Higher Cheating” lists over 80 incidents of cheating at six institutions of higher learning. Doctoral thesis were rejected, lecturers fired, degrees revoked, and students suspended and expelled because of these incidents. In “Schools Fighting Plagiarism”, the Korea Times reports that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will deduct points off of assignments, and seek harsher penalties for secondary students who plagiarize. In September 2003, the New York Times reports that a study of 18,000 students at 23 colleges and universities found that 38% of students engaged in “cut and paste” plagiarism during the previous year.  Academic communities around the world perceive a thriving culture of plagiarism.

It is nearly impossible to come up with a universal definition of plagiarism. Buranen says that:

“One of the major problems with the word plagiarism itself is its use as a kind of wastebasket, into which we toss anything we do not know what to do with: it can refer, at various times, to outright cheating (for instance, purchasing a research paper and presenting it as one’s own work); to appropriating large blocks of text without attribution; to omissions or mistakes in citations; to paraphrasing an original too closely; to collaborating too closely—and then there is the question of intent…” (64).

In the New York Times article entitled “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Speech”, David Greenberg explores charges of plagiarism surrounding Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign speeches. Governor Deval Patrick and Obama share speechwriters. Answering a claim of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton that the Obama campaign is all rhetoric with no substance, Obama said famous political lines from history, and repeated the refrain “just words”. It turns out that the Patrick campaign used this set piece during the gubernatorial elections. Obama says that it is “silly” that the Clinton campaign would bring plagiarism charges against him, and that he committed simple citation error. In the article, Greenberg quotes Thomas Mallon, author of Stolen Words: “Political language is unusually fluid. Politicians routinely borrow from one another, especially during campaigns, when they make use of any themes or mantras that seem to work. What Democratic candidate hasn’t vowed to ”fight for working families”?”. It is common knowledge that politicians use speechwriters who borrow phrases and themes from political works. When politicians use these speeches, voters understand that the spoken words are not the politicians’ own language. These speeches influence voters’ decision-making. A good stump speech or debate performance can lead to increased support on the ground, millions dollars in new donations, and more votes on election day. It seems that voters take a post-modern view of political authorship, where candidates participate in collaborative efforts of assemblage. Applying existing ideas and texts to new contexts is an accepted practice.

The definition of plagiarism depends on the institution. Many schools have handbooks dedicated to the issue that spell out offenses and punishments.

Why should teachers care about plagiarism?

Teachers hold a unique and powerful position in the debate about what constitutes authorship and plagiarism. These debates are important because they shape the future of scholarship and art. When a teacher sets an intellectual boundary for what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable work, they are molding the intellectual processes of students. Plagiarism is a moral construct that institutions use it to separate “high” scholarship from “low” scholarship. Howard believes that educators’ current understanding of plagiarism creates an intellectual class system. According to Howard, the academy views collaborative composition is “low” literacy. This is a broad category of work includes patchwriting (copying text word for word and then substituting different grammar and word structures) and purchase of term papers. “High” literacy is at the top of the hierarchy: a student exhibits high literacy when readers can identify both original and borrowed elements in writing.

These intellectual hierarchies are used to guide instruction and assessment in classrooms. For example, the California English-Language Arts Content Standards say that by grades nine and ten, students should be able to “reflect appropriate manuscript requirements” including “integration of source and support material (e.g., in-text citation, use of direct quotations, paraphrasing) with appropriate citations. Correct citation is considered to be an advanced writing skill that builds upon knowledge learned in previous years of schooling. Students must perform citation behaviors correctly to be considered “at grade level”. Students who do not perform these behaviors are considered to be a low level of scholarship. Johnson-Eilola and Selber say that “When all is said and done, teachers seem to ask students the question: After you have read all the background material and assembled your evidence, what did you, just you, produce? Show us your words; let the words of others fade into the background” (379). Johnson-Eilola and Selber and Howard believe that the original author versus plagiarist binary has overtaken the notion of hierarchy.

These pedagogical issues fit into a broader discussion of what constitutes authorship in the post-modern world. What is an author? What rights do authors have? There are no clear answers to these questions. Although modern legal frameworks are centered on the idea of an original author, post-modern and post-structural schools of thought question the existence of originality and individuality in authorship. Pennycook says that modern notions of individual creativity and originality may obscure the subjective and intertextual nature of our identities:

“If, instead of a Self or an Identity, we consider the notion of subjectivity, or indeed subjectivities (we are, in a sense, the fragmented products of different discourses), then we arrive at more or less a reversal of the speaking subject creating meaning: We are not speaking subjects but spoken subjects, we do not create language but are created by it. As I suggested earlier, the question then becomes not so much one of who authored a text but how we are authored by texts.” (Pennycook 10).

Post-modernists reject the idea that originality, creativity, and authorship resides in a divine or human creator. Instead, human identity is a web of interpretations. This shift away from “original authorship” can be seen in music, architecture, television, film, and written works. In the 20th century, one of the key advances in music was the development of drum machines, synthesizers, cassette tape recorders, turntables, and other audio mixing tools that allowed the average person to sample music from the radio and remix it, creating a new work. The hip-hop genre relies heavily on the ability of listeners to re-shape old songs into new ones. File sharing technologies and creative commons licenses give artists even more freedom. There are many classic and modern texts that are considered to be a work of pastiche rather than plagiarism. Examples include the works of Virgil, Shakespeare, and Michael Cunningham.

The concept of assemblage is an important element of post-modern authorship. Johnson-Eilola and Selber say that assemblages are “texts built primarily and explicitly from existing texts in order to solve a writing or communication problem in a new context” (381). The authors believe that the binary of plagiarist versus original author is inadequate to address issues of intertextuality, the effects of previous discourse, and the need for students, artists, and citizens to problem-solve using information that exists in the marketplace of ideas. The modern copyright and intellectual property framework is evolving as courts hear cases about process copyrights, file-sharing, and the rights of collaborators.

Problem-Solving and Acts of Assemblage

I agree with these authors and believe that teachers need to embrace assemblage, patchwriting, and other collaborative processes because they are good pedagogical practices that reflect new modes of authorship. We want students to engage in acts of assemblage: to be to synthesize information from a wide variety of sources to solve new problems. Collaboration is changing the face of communication (Web 2.0), music, art, business, and politics. We want students to have the ability to engage in acts of assemblage and new modes of problem solving. On the other hand, students need to understand their roles as readers, authors, and artists. Each of these roles comes with rights and responsibilities that change based on the context (see the political speech example above).

Educators engage in acts of assemblage everyday. They blend together research on best practices, institutional standards, lesson plan ideas from other teachers, and instructional tools in order to help students succeed in the classroom.

What should educators do?

  1. Examine state curriculum standards, school honor codes, and other sources to figure out your institutions’ stance on plagiarism and authorship.
  2. Engage in Edupunkism – find lesson plans that help students understand their roles as authors, readers, and artists (these roles change from task to task). Push students to express themselves in new ways (digital storytelling, art, etc).
  3. Have conversations with students about what constitutes art, authorship, and plagiarism.
  4. Help students understand why the rights of authors are important. Link instruction about citation methods and scholarship to real world examples (plagiarism in the news, university standards, curriculum standards, debates about art, etc).
  5. Research authorship, plagiarism, and copyrights and take a stance on these issues.

Works Cited (plus more sources)

17 USC Chapters 1 – 5. 2007 Ed.

Adams, Hazard, and Leroy Searle, eds. Critical Theory since Plato. Third ed. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

OWL at Purdue University. “Avoiding Plagiarism.” 08 Apr 2008 <>.

Bellarmine College Preparatory (San Jose): Parent-Student Handbook.01 Apr 2008 <>.

National Forensic League. “Benefits”. 01 Apr 2008. <>.

Buranen, Lise. ” But I Wasn’t Cheating: Plagiarism and Cross-Cultural Mythology.” Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Ed. Lise (ed and introd ). Buranen, Alice M. (ed and introd ). Roy, and Andrea (foreword) Lunsford. Albany, NY: State U of New York P, xxii, 1999.

Greenberg, David. Friends , Romans , Countrymen , Lend Me Your Speech. The New York Times. February 24 2008, sec. WK; Week in Review Desk; THE NATION: 3.

Content Standards English-Language Arts, Grades Pre K – 12. Sacremento: California Department of Education, 1997.

Harvard-Westlake School. “Plagiarism and Tutoring”. 01 Apr 2008. <>.

“Institutes of Higher Cheating.” Sunday Times (South Africa) June 10 2007, sec. EDUCATION: 13.

Johnson-Eilola, Johndan, and Stuart A. Selber. “Plagiarism, Originality, Assemblage.” Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing. 24.4 (2007): 375-403.

National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. “Value”. 01 Apr 2008. <>.

NFL District Tournament Manual: National Forensic League, 2008.

Planet Debate. “Subscriptions and Products”. 2006. Harvard Debate, Inc. <>.

Pennycook, Alastair. “Borrowing Others’ Words: Text, Ownership, Memory, and Plagiarism.” TESOL Quarterly 30.2 (1996): 201-30.

Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World [Electronic Resource] / Lise Buranen and Alice M. Roy, Editors ; Foreword by Andrea Lunsford. Ed. Lise Buranen 1954-, Alice Myers Roy, and Inc NetLibrary. Albany : State University of New York Press, c1999.

Re-Tooling for the Future: 2007 – 2008 Parent/Student Handbook: Claremont High School.

Rimer, Sara. “A Campus Fad that’s being Copied: Internet Plagiarism Seems on the Rise.” The New York Times September 3 2003, sec. B; Metropolitan Desk; Education Page: 7.

“Schools Fighting Plagiarism.” Korea Times October 12 2007.

Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. “Section II, Part B: Academic Dishonesty”. Feb 2003 2003. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. <>.

Sonora High School. “Academic Honesty Policy”. 01 Apr 2008. <

Stearns, Laurie. “Copy Wrong: Plagiarism, Property, and the Law .” Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Ed. Lise (ed and introd ). Buranen, Alice M. (ed and introd ). Roy, and Andrea (foreword) Lunsford. Albany, NY: State U of New York P, xxii, 1999.

Student, Parent, and Employee Information Handbook. San Jose Unified School District, 2007.

University of Oxford. “Education Policy and Standards: Plagiarism”. 01 Apr 2008. <>.

Zebroski James, Thomas. “Intellectual Property, Authority, and Social Formation: Sociohistoricist Perspectives on the Author Function.” Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Ed. Lise (ed and introd ). Buranen, Alice M. (ed and introd ). Roy, and Andrea (foreword) Lunsford. Albany, NY: State U of New York P, xxii, 1999.

Scripted Curriculum, Part 1: WWPD? (What would Pavlov do?)

leave a comment »

I observed 8 students in a reading intervention (special education) class. The instructor carried around a clipboard and patrolled the aisles. She would read a passage from her book, snap her fingers, and point to a student. Students reacted to the finger-snap and read their answer aloud. Students who answered on cue were given small pieces of candy. If students asked questions, gave more intelligent answers than the book offered, or tried to question the importance of the lesson, they were disciplined. At the end of the session, points were added up and king-sized candy bars were doled out for students who answered cues the most. There was no student work on the walls – posters featured dogs dressed in basketball jerseys barking: “1. Stay quiet…2. Answer on cue”. When my observations were over, the instructor told me that she had spent the first half of the school year “conditioning the behavior” of her students.

I have many questions about this experience:

– Is this what Pavlov, school and district personnel, the California Board of Education, and/or the Federal Government had in mind?

– Was this a typical or an atypical scripted classroom?

– What are the social justice issues?

– What are the chances that I will have to teach in a scripted classroom?

– Doesn’t this go against common sense?

– What does the research say?

– Did I observe a bad teacher in a manageable curriculum/situation, a bad teacher and a bad curriculum, or an average/good teacher and a bad curriculum?

I can’t tackle these issues in one post. Stay tuned for post 2: “Scripted Curriculum, Part 2: It’s the economy, stupid”.

Relevant/Cheesy Classroom Posters (I will NEVER use these sorts of posters in my classroom):