A Curriculum as Catalyst for Productive Struggle


Along the lines of what I wrote about in my last post about balancing a productive struggle in the classroom, here’s a post on Puzzl_ED about an interesting curriculum for math called JUMP, created by a non-profit, which seems to strike that balance.

Mike Goldstein makes the following argument in his post:

Instead of creating a utopian public policy ideal where we attract teachers with unusually high math aptitude, and then train them really effectively, so they can invent their own clever lessons — utopian because none of the 3 things typically happens now in real life — put the teachers we have now in a position to succeed through very prescribed curriculum.

Though my favorite thing in the world is develop my own curriculum (really), I do think that having a strong “prescribed” curriculum in place is fundamental, given the lack of time and guidance teachers have. I’d rather have something I can draw from and re-interpret based on my own understanding, rather than nothing at all. And from what I’ve seen, teachers are hungry to have quality resources and content at hand.

Other than Expeditionary Learning’s and Core Knowledge’s K-5 material, anyone know of anything comparable to JUMP being done for ELA curriculum? Seems much harder to accomplish in the murky and fuzzy realm of that domain.

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