changing a curriculum
- Nelson asked:
I wonder if a teacher has a personal obligation to simplify the curriculum, as he/she understands more and more the process of language education. What about a conflict between the school's adopted curriculum, and a curriculum that can be more effective for student language outcomes?
Our curricula for the program have both objectives (essentially learning goals by the end of the semester) and a course outline (essentially what you will be doing in the class based on activities over time.
Our classes are skill-based (reading, listening-speaking, grammar, and composition) at 4 or 5 levels. If a teacher at a lower level doesn't follow the curriculum for that class, students end up in the next course with uneven skills.
For example, I teach the top level of listening-speaking. In both levels 3 and 4, students are supposed to have had increasing exposure and practice with notetaking from lectures. However, some teachers have seriously neglected notetaking. As a result, I get some students who are well prepared for high-level notetaking, and others in the class who have almost no exposure to notetaking. This is frustrating for both ends of the spectrum. The high level students feel bored, the low level students feel overwhelmed.
So, changing the curriculum independent of discussion with other teachers and administrators in the program can have quite negative effects for students (and for teachers) further down the line.