Questions for Textbook Companies – 9

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7 thoughts on “Questions for Textbook Companies – 9”

  1. Robert’s questions and thoughts are always quite clear and concise. I am the only one who wants to watch Robert debate a textbook spokesperson to watch him tear them apart calmly and logically?

  2. The administrative game that I face is that we have to have a common curriculum. Of course, when I get students I find that they do not necessarily have much in common. And it is my responsibility to unite us into a common direction. And I gladly do that. But with CI there is a true commonality. The students’ previous textbook experience gives only a facade of a common experience.

  3. …with CI there is a true commonality….

    This is so true, but it applies, in my view, only to the experience of creating language with our students in class. In terms of assessment, there is no way we can assess the progress of seeds that lie beneath the earth.

    We cannot appreciate the beauty of flowers that haven’t bloomed yet. And yet that is exactly what we do when we try to assess kids’ output skills in writing and speaking.

    So whereas some CI kids can output quite nicely early on, in the garden’s spring, others can’t. They are the autumn sprouting seeds and they flower much later than the seeds that sprout in spring. Unless we try to get them to do that, in which case nothing ever flowers – the kids just don’t sign up for the class the next year, which is something that we have over the traditional teachers in spades – enrollment figures.

    And yet we are expected, in this 20th c. design of assessment that still pervades common assessment to this day, to somehow make all the seeds sprout in the same way and create flowers that all look the same. That doesn’t do much for a varied and interesting garden. It doesn’t do much for our profession. It doesn’t do much for language teaching.

    Until we accept that some kids are going to need 5000 hours and some 10,000 certainly not 100 or 200 hours – which is all we have – to be a able to output anything at all, anything meaningful, anything authentic, we will continue to have a mess on our hands when it comes to assessment.

    But yes, Nathaniel, that was so well stated – when we are in the classroom in the middle of some good CI, we are linked in a commonality of purpose that is pointing strongly in the direction of fluency and so, if not the results, so skewed by the testing monster, then at least the process, will have instrinsic value and our work will have meaning.

  4. I just now read this series. Wow Robert, I am so glad you share those well-articulated thoughts with the world, and that I get to read them!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your proposal for 20% time (Genius Hour) that you referenced in a previous post’s comment. I don’t know what it is though.

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