There is an interesting difference between restaurants advertising new foods and public education’s announcements of “improvements”, in my opinion. We all know the newest hamburger, hotdog, pizza, steak, etc is still the same meat and dough foundation. It’s just pumped up with new spice, new sauce, new shape, new box with a new toy, etc. And in THOSE cases we DO get a change of results: new flavors ( or older ones that were discontinued and now revived), and even some new visual experiences.
In public education, there is also a sales department. Education is definitely a business too often over and above it’s designated purpose, in my opinion. Their “improved upon” words are ‘redesigned’, ‘new paradigms’, ‘research-driven’, ‘cross content facilitation’, ‘college and career ready’, ‘future proofing’,’ neuroscience’, ‘real world’, ‘project based’, ‘inquiry-based’, ‘disruptive technology’, and more. Even I bought into this brainwashing jargon and fluff in my career in teaching. In this case, we all know that facts and figures and processes are the foundation of all learning. The RESULTS of most of the new hypes and cons, however, are the same as was done in the past in education; the same or more drop out rates, the same or more uneducated kids for reading and math, etc. No new flavors, no new visually enhancing experiences beyond a new cover for the ‘newly designed’ textbooks. That’s why all the screaming and blaming teachers and school staff etc. for all the problems that the system and lousy parenting create.
The last thing is what happens to the stuff being replaced by the great new brain-saving curriculums.
If you saw what I’ve seen in the area of “old” curriculum being replaced by “new” curriculum, you’d have the same fits I’ve had, very much resembling the facial, physical and emotional expressions of comedian Lewis Black.
Before I tell you what it looks like, let me say here that this travesty is mostly forced upon schools by the pressure of outside government judgments based upon paper scores from tests that have been proven many times over to be faulty and non-related to real life purpose education.
Now, here is what it looks like. I work in the morning cafeteria duty, helping watch over the kids and cleaning up before classes begin. I take out the trash, too. One morning years ago I opened the dumpster and saw 50 or more textbooks laying in the dumpster at varied angles. I freaked. I found the maintenance man, asked questions, gathered up as many of the remaining textbooks I could find and put them under tables in my room for their first phase of being saved. I know of one other teacher who did the same. There might have been more teachers involved. These textbook were wonderful with amazing stories and artwork of the highest level. This happens to every subject textbook related to any past curriculum. NOW–I DO UNDERSTAND–why restaurants must throw out old food. IT MOLDS. Textbooks do not mold unless you throw them into moist dirty dumpsters. And NO THE BOOKS WERE NOT TORN, CREASED, WRINKLED etc. Sharing all this because everyone needs to understand some realities that make up the world of education.