Do you turn to Pinterest or Teachers pay Teachers because you need an idea for a supplemental activity? Or do you turn to these sites because you don’t have an effective curriculum?
I have turned to the internet for teaching materials for both reasons.
I totally agree with this article (see link below) which laments the lack of good curriculum. When we patch things together from various websites we are missing that mystical thing called “instructional design”. To find a real definition I turned to – yep, Google.
Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. (from Instructional Design Central website)
I am personally fascinated with instructional design and feel that good design is crucial to the success of students, especially those at risk. I appreciate good lesson design the way I appreciate good architecture – there is a beauty and flow to it that is uplifting. Walking into a building like the state capitol rotunda in my hometown of Olympia, Washington, and looking up 80 feet into the dome, gives my mind a spaciousness that I don’t find in my own house. There is nothing I can think of that could be done better in that building. I just stand there in awe. Teachers know that pretty much everything out there in the form of curriculum is more like our houses – comfortable perhaps but mediocre in design. There are things we’re not completely happy with, which is why we turn to Pinterest and Google for help.
As the author states, most of us teachers are not trained in curriculum design. But if there are a lot of well-trained experts out there, why are we not getting solid curriculum that we don’t have to fix? I am curious what math curriculum the article is talking about. I’m not expecting Capitol Dome curriculum design any time soon, but I’d welcome a math curriculum needing a few less renovations than my house.
Many of us care so much about our students that we search the internet for that “just right” idea, or maybe something new to try when nothing is working. It isn’t bad, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could do it occasionally just for fun, and not out of desperation?
I could say more, but no time now – I gotta hit the internet for lesson plans!
Related post about good curriculum: Thanks to ReadWell