Sunday, December 8, 2013

Common Core Scripted? Yea, not so much

Oh. My. I should say I don't watch Fox News, but I can't ignore it completely because much of what they purport to be news gets far too much attention. A recent article states that teachers are complaining that Common Common lessons are basically scripts.

Let me take you to school on scripted lessons and "teaching to the test." As I've said before, this is nothing new. In fact, scripted lessons date back as far as 1888. Yep, 1888.

Then in the 1960s Siegfried Engelmann and Carl Bereiter developed the direct instruction method of teaching reading to raise the academic success of inner city children. And it was considered scripted.

There are other programs known to be scripted, including Success for All, Open Court, and others. Want more information on that? You might read Is Your Child Being Taught From a Script or Do Scripted Lessons Work--Or Not?

NCLB prompted a rash of scripted programs. Textbook publishers spent millions publishing teacher's educations of textbooks, which were basically scripts for teaching.

The FACT is that scripted education has been around for over 100 years. You can find more information about scripted education here.

So the educators who are complaining about Common Core taking the joy out of teaching, about not being able to be creative, about having to follow pacing guides, about having fewer choices about resources are probably really complaining about the way their administrators have implemented whatever program or curriculum is being used. Could be Common Core, but it could be anything.

Common Core is not yet an optimal solution. It takes time for any kind of reform to be effective.

What we're learning is that there are many educators who do not know how to teach without a script or without a teacher's edition. That should be far scarier to parents.

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