Curriculums come and curriculums go!
If you’re old enough, you might remember “new math?” Gone! Click here to review that history.
Occasionally, however, a successful curriculum appears timeless and just hangs in there. How about Hooked on Phonics? Timeless!
I worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 19 years. I didn’t keep count, but during those years, curriculums came and curriculums went. The only specific curriculum I remember was a reading/language arts one used during the 1980’s that placed total emphasis on reading whole books and real literature. I actually think I remember because it was so logical. Real books, real literature—what a brilliant way to teach reading.
Because curriculums come and go, I haven’t really paid a lot of attention to MCPS’s new curriculum du jour. That curriculum is simply titled Curriculum 2.0. Click hereto learn the basics. By the way, was there a Curriculum 1.0 that we all missed?
And so being curious, I started poking through the MCPS public website and found this video of Superintendent Joshua Starr on 2.0.
What an interesting video. And what did I learn? Three things:
- Before Curriculum 2.0, we didn’t allow children to think on their own.
- Curriculum 2.0 is making children happier.
- With Curriculum 2.0 our children are taking ownership of their learning.
I’m fine with folks hyping things—that’s the way of the modern world. But some of what’s said on the above video is just dumb and unnecessary propaganda. (Happier children? Compared to what?)
Anyone who knows me and reads this blog knows I’m a serious critic of MCPS. And yet, I’m always willing to admit that MCPS has always been a better-than-average school district. When there are academic awards and prizes up for grabs our students consistently come out near the top or on top. I would like to believe this happens because our students are great scholars. And their scholarship includes being both creative and self-directed. Those who believe less are selling our kids short and overselling the value (and magic) of Curriculum 2.0.
And will Curriculum 2.0 made your child happier? Who knows? Let’s just hope it helps them master the multiplication times tables. But if it doesn't help them master the art of reading you can always turn to Hooked on Phonics.