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Showing posts from May, 2014


     CHOICE is something that has not been a traditional part of education. Essentially, education operated top down. Educators gave out information and learners took in the information. Officials and institutions created curriculum and dictated the instructional model, while students complied. It was primarily one way and students did not have much opportunity to choose anything related to what they learned, how they learned, where they learned and more.

     If students made it as far as college, and survived their first two years of requirements, they were allowed to then pursue their major, their primary interest area or their career.

     But in the first 13 years of education, there have been very few choices for students. In middle school and high school, we are offered a handful of electives. And in the previous 20 years, our country almost completely decimated many elective programs with an over-the-top focus on core academics and testing.
     But why is choice important …

Beyond the Standard Standards

Since I became a professional educator in 1990, there has been a focus on what we teach. Sometime it has been a focus on what students should learn. Either way, there has been an on-going discussion on what our students should be doing while at school and what will prepare them for their futures.

     Naturally, this seems like a reasonable idea. However, there is not agreement here. For years, it was about subject content and competencies. In California, we had the Frameworks that were supposed to be guides as to what to teacher at every grade level in every subject area.

     Then, we had the State Standards that took the content goals to the next level. We now had tests on content in all core subjects at each grade level. Students were expected to “know” certain things and demonstrate that on the multiple-choice tests.
     In high school specifically, we’ve also had our requirements. For example, there is A-G that the colleges and universities to determine which course…