CSCOPE: One Size Fits All

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Why a standardized curriculum such as CSCOPE is bound to fail.

by C. Cross in Education, August 16, 2010

This author has succinctly explained why CSCOPE is not working. Yes, CSCOPE has poor lessons that do not all align with the TEKS or even teach the TEKS listed for the lesson. Yes, CSCOPE is a micromanaging of teachers. But the following article by C.Cross gets to the heart of the matter. A one-size fits all program doesn’t fit the children of Texas.

CSCOPE: One Size-Fits All

As a new school year begins, there are many teachers that are given a curriculum that tells them exactly what to teach each day of the year.

For new teachers it is a handy tool, because they don’t have to come up with lessons and ideas.
For seasoned teachers, it is just another change of policy that they will learn to adapt to.
For a few, it is a stifling, constriction on the creative and individualized lessons that they use daily in their classrooms.

Honestly, as an educator I love the idea of a standardized curriculum. The idea in itself solves many issues in education and teacher performance. However, as I evaluate and explore most standardized curriculum, there is a general fallacy that cannot be resolved.

It is the idea of a one-size fits all education. There is the assumption that with this one lesson and these specific examples, each student in each classroom can be reached and educated about the topic of the lesson. The arrogance of this assumption is unrivaled.

Each child is completely unique, from their brain down to their own DNA. Each child not only learns differently, but applies, relates and uses what they learn in different ways. Since every student is unique, there is no possible way that every lesson in any curriculum will be able to effectively communicate the topic to each of the students in the classroom. This is where the role of the teacher becomes vital.

It is not about what is taught.

Teaching is all about how the teacher knows their student’s inside and out and effectively modifies the lesson to the best way that each individual child can learn.

It is the teacher’s job to know their students in way that they also know how that particular individual needs to be communicated with in order for that student to learn.

So with a curriculum that dictates exactly what is done every day, down to the exact activities, what happens when Johnny, Miguel, and Sara are absent? What happens when Charlie and Isaac don’t get it? What happens when the school has a pep rally during a single class period and the whole class falls a day behind? What happens when Bobby misses a week because his grandpa in Seattle passes away? What happens when a cultural holiday rolls around? What happens when your student with fetal alcohol syndrome brings marijuana to school and gets put in “In School Suspension” for 3 weeks? What happens when you have a child in your class that speaks very little English? These are actual occurrences. Honestly, they happen every day of every school year.

A teacher must put their little human’s with real unique lives and hearts before the day by day curriculum plan. Every individual student has individual needs, an individual learning styles, and individual lives outside of the classroom.

No student, young or old should be given a one-size fits all education. No child is the same.

Each child should be given the opportunity to learn in a way that fits them personally.

Everyone should be given the opportunity for education, but to say that everybody can learn from the same curriculum is not even common sense.

A one-size fits all curriculum is short changing our children, our schools, and our culture.

This type of education is a pretty little idealized theory, but I do not want to be in that classroom? Do You?

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