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Intellectual Challenge of Curriculum


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									Intellectual Challenge of
     By Anthony Galardi
Low Expectations = Low Achievement
• It’s been proven that teachers often base their
  expectations of students on “race and class
  background” (Sleeter 127).
• Black and Latino students are commonly seen
  as less teachable than White and Asian
• This disparity in low expectations, results in
  boring instruction, and in return lower
  achievement for Black and Latino students.
Low Expectations = Boring Instruction
• Students respond to well to “an intellectually
  rich curriculum that is not structure around
  test preparation” (Sleeter 127).
• Students of color often are subjected to
  curriculum based around test preparation.
• Test preparation is boring and is not applicable
  to real-life issues.
• Students tune out boring instruction and fail
  to learn even the basic skills.
         High Expectations = Higher
• When students are challenged, they are more likely “to
  rise to the occasion” (Sleeter 129).
• Teachers need to take into account the challenges
  students face and accept “that those challenges do not
  prevent learning and that a strong education will serve
  students” (Sleeter 128).
• Our idea of high expectations is often measured up to
  that of “European [American] students’ normative
  performance” (Sleeter 128), which is still too low of a
• We must aim “higher than closing the gap” (Sleeter
  Higher Expectations = Higher Order
• Higher order thinking is essential for all
  citizens of our society, not just students that
  go to college.
• Higher order thinking often results in higher-
  skilled jobs that pay more.
• The challenges that upper level classes
  provide are more likely to breed success in for
  all students.
     How to Effectively Challenge All
• Intensive writing instruction
• Quick and consistent feedback
• Authentic instruction that is tailored to the individual
• Integrating technology into curriculum
• Provide students with opportunities to be creative and
• When teaching toward standards, don’t over-stretch
• Make a decision about what standards to focus on and
  what standards to skip (Sleeter 132).
 Examples of Challenging Curriculum –
     Juanita (2nd Grade Teacher)
• Juanita expected more from her students than what was
  expected of them by the state standards.
• Juanita focused her instruction primarily on publishing
• Curriculum was rooted in using technology to create books
  on a variety of topics/genres.
• Juanita provided students with explicit instructions on how
  to use computers until they were prepared to work
• Juanita empowered students by allowing them to teach
  each other, while she worked with students who needed
  one-on-one instruction.
            Enabling Strategies
• Strategies that are used to help support students
  to think more complexly about certain topics or
• Scaffolding is when you provide the student with
  just enough support and then gradually give
  them more responsibility and freedom.
• Scaffolding is very effective when used to support
  students who are “writing on intellectually
  challenging topics” (Sleeter 141).
• There are four stages of scaffolding for writing.
• Stage 1 – support students to build knowledge
  of the topic.
• Stage 2 – teacher talks about and models the
  writing process for the students.
• Stage 3 – teacher and student write about the
  topic together and discuss students writing.
• Stage 4 – student writes about specific topic
            Love What You Do
• In order to fully challenge your students you must
  be passionate about what you are teaching.
• Before you begin a unit, make sure that you have
  fully examined and challenged yourself on the
  same topic.
• Expect great things from your students and
  challenge them. The higher the branch, the
  higher they will reach.
• Have fun and be authentic!

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