Standards in Education
Instructional Standards exist to help teachers with the coverage of the curriculum while statewide assessments are designed to evaluate students’ attainment of these standards. However, there have been numerous cases of teachers blindly using them to ensure their students pass exams. Consequently, many learners concentrate on specific information, instead of the overall content of the syllabus. To avoid narrowing the curriculum, teachers should be cognizant of the fact that, standardization is meant to be a general guideline, not a specific blueprint. They must widen their scope in accordance to learners’ needs, as opposed to narrowing it to fit the standards.
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Read the World then Read the Word
Paulo Freire argues that teachers must help their learners understand their world before they attempt to impart formal learning. When teaching peasants, he would first discuss with them their condition of poverty and then try to condense this social experience in a word. His method is highly progressive because it depicts pedagogy as a problem-solving tool. As a teacher, am alarmed that most of the theory taught in class is only applied in exam questions. However, “reading the world” would be very useful in helping learners to internalize what they study, and find ways to connect it to their environment.
Democracy in the Classroom
In his letter, Freire discusses the need for teachers to both speak to, and with the learners in a manner that indicates their willingness to listen. He criticizes teachers who, in their talking with learners, make it appear as if they are doing them a favor. In a democratic classroom, the teacher should create open-ended communication channels, where learners do not perceive him as the sole source of knowledge. Freire argues that the teacher should be prepared to learn from the student since this will improve the overall quality of their relationship, and enhance the learner’s understanding of the subject matter.