This Curriculum Matters’ blog post highlighting a new book called Tyranny of the Textbook: An Insider Exposes How Educational Materials Undermine Reforms written by Beverlee Jobrack, retired editorial director for McGraw-Hill, raises some thought-provoking ideas. Here are a couple of ideas shared via the post:
- School and district committees for curriculum selection filled with teachers and others who lack the appropriate expertise, motivation, and time to make the best choices;
- State textbook adoptions focused on whether curricular materials meet state standards, line by line, with little or no attention to whether they actually are of high quality and represent a coherent and well-designed instructional approach.
Some very generalized statements – just the type to spark controversy and discussion which usually seems to begin the change process. Jobrack’s overarching message is “Quality curriculum taught by quality teachers has the most potential to improve student achievement.”
Have a look at the post. It’s worth the read – especially with today’s priority to implement the Common Core State Standards. As the Common Core State Standards initiative drives us to think about instructional shifts, let’s be sure to give curriculum the attention it deserves.