5 New Approaches to Teaching and Learning: The Next Frontier

January 31, 2014
Chris Emdin

In my first year of teaching about a decade ago, I was given very straightforward instructions for what I was charged to do. I was told to follow the curriculum, ensure that my students didn’t disrupt the classroom, meet the state standards for my subject, and make sure that my students passed the standardized exams at the end of the year. To meet these goals, I was provided with a curriculum, a school rulebook, test prep materials, and was wished good luck.

The curriculum I was given consisted of a set of lessons that were organized like a script. The formula was simple: wash, rinse and repeat. Teacher asks this, students say that. Write this on the blackboard, students will write that. On any given day, there was a document I could reference that detailed exactly what I was going to be teaching, and when I was going to teach it. The document was complimented by a margin on the left side of my teachers manual that told me what assignments to give, when to give them, and what responses I should expect from students…

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