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Common curriculum

on November 11, 2011

I’ve been on Twitter for almost two years now. Before that, my only experience with teaching an curriculum was that of Saskatchewan. Here, for those from outside SK, we have a common curriculum for the province. That means, regardless of where you are in the province, if you are in grade 3, you should be learning the same things. Most likely it won’t be taught in the same way, but the teachers still have the same set of standards (or outcomes as they are now called) to follow.

As a girl who grew up moving around, I see the benefits of this core curriculum. I moved from Alberta to Saskatchewan the summer between fifth and sixth grade. In AB, the push to learn verb conjugation (in French immersion) was in grade six. In SK, it is learned progressively starting in grade three, with most of the basics learned by sixth grade. This left me struggling as a student. To this day, I’m really good at using tools to help me, and even though I teach French, I still doubt myself every time I have to write.

So, where is this going? Back to Twitter… I see so many of the people I follow many negative comments about common core curriculum. Why? I can completely understand being against creating common lessons that every teacher needs to follow. I believe that teachers need to use their own strengths and knowledge and to also use the interests and knowledge of the students when planning and executing lessons. It engages all involved. But what is wrong in saying that in a given year a student should be able to […]? I am not trying to be argumentative, I just truly don’t understand what people have against this. Maybe I can get some comments explaining different viewpoints…

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