'Curriculum' Definition Raises Red Flags
Calls for shared curriculum for the common standards have triggered renewed debates about who decides what students learn, and even about varied meanings of the word “curriculum,” adding layers of complexity to the job of translating the broad learning goals into classroom teaching.
The most recent calls for common curriculum came from the American Federation of Teachers and the Albert Shanker Institute, a think tank named after the late AFT leader. Many others are working on pieces of that puzzle—an array of instructional resources for states, districts, and teachers. But the calls for “shared” or “common” curricula have sparked particularly heated conversations.
Scholars, bloggers, and activists are exchanging fire about whether shared curriculum means lessons dictated from afar. They’re worrying that the public could lose a voice in shaping what children learn, and asking whether the federal government is overstepping...
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