The issue of curriculum, what is created and how curricula are used, is a vital one. What we teach our children will shape the future for generations to come. We must consider whether lessons are age-appropriate. Some of the questions we must ask are, do we introduce facts, figures, and formulas that connect to nothing in a child’s mind, but allow us to measure a youngster’s ability to memorize? Might it be better to present lessons that teach our young how to think? Most importantly, how do we determine whether a lesson is mindless and what is meaningful?
Save Our Schools speaks to this notion in our Guiding Principles. We state that curriculum developed for and by local school communities serves our children well. We must also consider what this means and how might we ensure
- Support for teacher and student access to a wide-range of instructional programs and technologies
- Well-rounded education that develops every student’s intellectual, creative, and physical potential
- Opportunities for multicultural/multilingual curriculum for all students
- Small class sizes that foster caring, democratic learning communities
Perhaps, in the area of education, the greatest dilemma is everyone is an expert. We have each studied, learned, taught, and been in a classroom of sorts, even if this classroom was within our home. Parents are our first and primary teachers. Moms and Dads are also learners. Their experiences are invaluable.
The quandary is, eventually everyone will interact with more than just Mom and Dad. We will learn from and with other children whose parents might have taught them what we did not learn, or in a manner that does not reflect our experience. Every one is part of a community and our curriculas need to make available all sorts of information.
The issue of Common Core State Standards is ubiquitous, more so today than it was in previous years. This is but the latest expression of a need for national standards. The idea was born decades ago and too easily, some believe that a common core curriculum might offer equity and equal education for all. Save Our Schools speaks to the fallacy of this notion within our Guiding Principles and in the links and research included here.