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Intellectual Challenge of curriculum

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					INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE
    OF CURRICULUM
       Corrine Wetherbee
             TE 822
Expectations
   Like any other curriculum, multicultural curriculum should
    be taught with high academic expectations
   Regardless of what students currently achieve,
    instructors should ask what students could achieve with
    teacher support
   Expectations should remain high and consistent
    regardless of students’ race and social class
       Research finds that teachers usually assume White and
        Asian students are more “teachable” than Black and Latino
        students. The same is true for middle vs. lower class.
Expectations (continued)
   The expectations teachers have for their students
    influence what teachers are willing to implement in the
    classroom, the degree of encouragement that they
    offer, and the classroom culture that they create
   Teachers who hold high expectations for students
    recognize challenges that students and families may
    face, but they do not believe that challenges inhibit
    learning
       These teachers choose to focus on student assets rather than
        deficits.
How do we hold all students to high
expectations?
   Curriculum planning must look beyond students’ current
    abilities and encourage potential in all students
   Do not become fixated on the closing the achievement
    gap
       Focusing too much on the achievement gap assumes that the
        achievements of native English speakers are the goals for
        every student, which is actually a mediocre goal in
        comparison to world-wide student achievement.
   Eliminate lower-level courses
       When lower achieving students are in higher level classes,
        they are less bored and often rise to the occasion and
        demands of more interesting curricula.
Juanita’s Story
   Second grade classroom
     19 students, all of Mexican background
     Taught in Spanish for at least half of the day

   Adapted curriculum to encourage student creativity
     Based   on her own experiences as a student, she
      introduced students to technology through Microsoft
      Word.
     Students produced published pieces of writing including
      biographies, autobiographies, research, fiction, and
      nonfiction.
Planning an intellectually challenging
curriculum
   Bloom’s Taxonomy
     Identifies six levels of thinking
     To use Bloom’s Taxonomy in creating curriculum, instructors
      should ask themselves:
         How does the unit as you have planned it so far address the six
          levels of Bloom’s taxonomy?
         How do the standards you are using address the levels of Bloom’s
          taxonomy?
         How does the textbook address Bloom’s taxonomy?
         If your students were to be prepared for college, what should
          they be learning to do that is not yet part of this unit?
       Every unit a teacher designs and uses should incorporate at
        least five of the six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
Mona’s Story
   Combined 4th/5th grade class
   Very diverse, low-income student population, with one-third
    of the school as ELL students
   Discovered that ELL students would mimic words and facts
    but did not comprehend
   Developed solar system unit based on cultural connections
    that her students could make while applying college level
    characteristics
        Students worked from a syllabus, created reports with Word and
        Power Point, took notes on mini lectures, and gave formal
        presentations .
           These efforts help to “demystify” college for students and allow them
            to see college as a viable option and part of their future.
Using Enabling Strategies in the
curriculum
   Teachers who build temporary support systems encourage
    students to think more complexly
   Enabling strategies include modeling and scaffolding
       Modeling shows students how to do something while talking them
        through the thought process.
       Scaffolding bridges current knowledge with potential by
        providing academic supports (in four stages) as students learn
        something new.
           Stage 1 – retrieve what students already know (discussions, KWL
            charts)
           Stage 2 – teacher models desired results (writing sample, etc.)
           Stage 3 – teacher constructs texts with students (first verbally then
            written)
           Stage 4 – students write independently
Hierarchical vs. Developmentalist
Perspective
   Viewing knowledge hierarchically assumes that ELL students must
    first:
       Learn the English Language in order to master higher level content
       Learn the mainstream culture
   Teachers who believe in building knowledge hierarchically drill
    students on the “basics”
       Basic drills are boring, and this turns some students off from learning
        before they get to more interesting parts.
   A teacher with developmentalist approach focuses more on the
    process of learning
       These teachers are more likely to individualize instruction.
       Students working meaningfully with the content is more important than
        memorizing facts.
Teachers and Students as an
Apprenticeship
   Teachers who build relationships with their students
    provide modeling and meaningful learning
    experiences
   Think of classrooms as “intellectual spaces”
     Teachers  are the “practicing intellectuals apprenticing
      young people in a complex world of academic work.”
     Young people receive guidance, assistance, and
      feedback.
     Apprenticeship allows young people to see themselves
      as successful beings in the future.

				
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