“I have no time!”
This is one of the most common frustrations I hear from teachers.
This lack of time often impedes innovation and change. Pedagogical improvements such as project based learning, assessment for learning, technology integration (substitute whatever you like here) are shelved because of a stated lack of time.
To be perfectly honest – I tend to have little patience for the “time” complaint (perhaps this will be a different blog post).
Nonetheless, I do empathize with teachers who feel overwhelmed by the breadth of some of our current curriculum documents - particularly those curriculums that are laden with facts and information. Many of our current documents are heavily prescriptive – often burdening teachers and students with an overabundance of learning outcomes.
Why are these documents a mile wide and only an inch deep?
Is it necessary, in our information rich age, to have our students remembering information that is at their immediate disposal 24/7?
I wonder, like other educators I have spoken to, if the current state of curriculum documents is a collective exercise in “covering our back sides” by all educational stakeholders.
I am also left wondering if our heavily prescriptive curricula stems from fundamental lack of trust in teachers.
Should we be teaching student the skills to access, evaluate, discern and communicate about the information at their disposal?
As we continue to talk about the reforms to our education system in BC, I am hopeful that one of the first and most tangible things we look to reform is curriculum documents.
(For what it’s worth, I think new curriculum documents should be a 100 meters wide and 100 meters deep with an emphasis on skills.)
This tangible change might provide the momentum and spark for other changes to our system as well!
Of course, I’m still figuring things out and any thoughts and suggestions are welcome!