There seems to have always been pre-packaged programs available for districts to purchase. Whether they came as a kit, a textbook, or just a set of ideas they have been a part of education for so many years and will continue to be as long as there are districts searching for the right answer, searching for guidance. And there isn’t anything wrong with that. I am not an opponent to the purchased curriculum, I am not an opponent of buying resources for teachers. However, I am an opponent of buying a program, no matter how great it is, and then telling everyone to follow every single thing in it.
You see, we don’t teach the children that these researchers taught. Our students will never share the same experience, nor the same background. And that is important because if a program does not allow us to adapt it to our students, then it will not be as powerful as we need it to be. If we are chained to a curriculum map based on other people’s students, then we are not teaching the students in front of us.
So by all means; go ahead and purchase the curriculum out there. There are great ones out there that have a solid foundation, but if you do, please make sure you do the following three things as well:
cross-posted at pernillesripp.com.
Pernille Ripp is the creator of Global Read Aloud Project, co-founder of EdCamp MadWI and the author of Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners and Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to OurStudents, She teaches seventh grade in Verona, Wisconsin, and blogs at http://pernillesripp.com. Follow her on Twitter @PernilleRipp.