Thursdays, 9th-11th periods
This course will involve a collaborative exploration of enduring issues related to curriculum, teaching, and learning in classrooms at all levels. The central questions we will confront appear simple, yet their answers have deep implications for education: Whose knowledge is of most worth? What should schools teach? Who should decide what and how schools teach? How should the effectiveness of schools be evaluated? Traditional answers to these questions have been the topic of theoretical writings and research for close to 100 years. However, despite these efforts, the answers to these questions are still debated without a consensus within the profession. Simultaneously, decisions about curriculum are being made through a political process that may, or may not, be influenced by the knowledge of educators. For example, current debates around issues such as standardized assessment, accountability, vouchers, charter schools, performance-based pay, and grade level retention (to name just a few) are largely political debates and the decisions which will impact schools are typically legislative in nature. In this course, we will focus on these prevailing controversies to explore how they have come to impact our current system of education.