Do the benefits of scripted curricula outweigh the drawbacks?

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Barbara Ash (not verified)

I feel that a scripted

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I feel that a scripted curriculum is helpful in certain instances. I supervise teachers and I have observed that many of them are not familiar enough with the curriculum to do an adequate job of teaching it. I have found that many of the younger educators lack a lot of creativity that is needed to teach the students of today. I feel that the scripted lessons could temporarily help to close that gap between knowing and not knowing what and how to teach. I don't feel that a scripted curriculum would help a seasoned, dedicated teacher. I feel that their years of experience and know how will take away from their creativity ability to employ strategies that they know will make a difference Therefore, I say yes for some; no for others.
John Wibbens (not verified)

The individuals instigating

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The individuals instigating the scripted curricula are so far removed from the classroom that they have an unrealistic, inaccurate idea of what is necessary. Often the individuals creating the actual curriculum are teachers who have either been conscripted to do so or see the assignment as a way of escaping the classroom environment. The end result is a product which is flawed and hobbles the creativity of the classroom teacher. This in turn stifles the teachers enthusiasm. The lack of enthusiasm is directly conveyed to the students who then also lose the spark which an enthusiastic and creative teacher can provide. We end up with the proverbial tail wagging the dog with instructors teaching to a flawed test or curriculum and the educational environment becoming less engaging. This is essentially EVERYONE being left behind.....
Cherry Stewart (not verified)

When Becker & Englemann

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When Becker & Englemann developed Distar, it was to teach English. The pattern / response mode was helpful to learn the language and was not intended to teach understanding, or critical thinking skills. All the same, I found that using the materials deadened the classroom, my teaching, and generally the kids approach to learning. I would love to know what kinds of lives - how creative and lateral thinking - the adults are who were put through the Direct Instruction methodologies. Does anyone know if a longitudinal study has been done of the Follow-Through Classrooms?
R. H. Richardson (not verified)

Answers rarely are

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Answers rarely are abosolute. Questions rather than answers can be spontanious, and lead to skills in analysis, extended implications, and produce new questions. Critical thinking skills can use a variety of "data fodder" that reflects subjects and contexts. Changing the input fodder changes the output interpretations and speculations and stimulate the quest for new input. These skills, as well as the input and analyses, create intellectual development that I consider the hallmark of education. When this is mixed with life's experiences, we have "educated people" that are diverse in specifics, dynamic in discovery and open for new insights. This is the antithesis of scripted curricula.
Jackie Costanzo (not verified)

Scripted curriculum is "one

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Scripted curriculum is "one size fits all" education, which anyone who has been in charge of a classroom of children knows is not best. Each child is unique and possesses his own style and rate of learning. My contention is that the research used to promote this type of teaching is strictly based on standardized (one size fits all) testing in the primary grades and not on performance-based assessments. The federal government needs to stop trying to "teacher-proof" curriculum and trust that teachers know how to teach. I know of many dedicated and experienced teachers who are leaving the profession purely because they are being forced to use certain materials.
Gregory Sinner (not verified)

Lois McFadyen says it well.

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Lois McFadyen says it well. Scripting may work for critical hospital procedures, and checklists are essential for flying airplanes – to prevent death in both instances. If we seek to liberate the goodness and genius of our children, then we must create conditions for student inquiry and imagination to flourish – to prevent death of a child's hopes and attenuation of human potential. However, we adults are also responsible for equipping the young with skills and knowledge to both collaborate and compete in a rapidly changing world – to think clearly and act wisely. As a professional community of teachers, we must hold ourselves accountable for the learning of each child. Citizens and parents should hold us accountable to meeting high standards, but not through standardized scripting and testing. Support us in creating conditions to liberate our own goodness and genius, and demand that we can do the same for our students. Of course in the end, no matter what we do, children will perform unequally in school, but the system of learning and schooling should not guarantee it.
Lois McFadyen (not verified)

In scripted curriculum,

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In scripted curriculum, everyone's intelligence is diminished. Teachers are deprofessionalized. Students' intelligence is severly limited to a preprogramed answer. Critical thinking is discouraged. No real, in-depth learning occurs. Inquiry is absent. The research supporting prescriptive programs is old and out of date. Everyone might as well be robots. This is educatin at its very worst. At birth, babies try to make sense out of the environment. Brains continue in this endeavor as long as a human is healthy. Why would anyone think that prescribing a learning program for national consumption be wise? Now that we know so much about brain development and learning from educational and medical fields, it is inexcusable to subject prepared teachers to facilitate learning environments for curious and able children under such limiting circumstances. When intelligence is devalued, no one wins.
john thomas (not verified)

Context outweighs

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Context outweighs standardized scripts. People and place do matter.
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