Thursday, September 30, 2010

Negotiate Curriculum

Teachers teach children not curriculum.

This is why it is so very important that teachers never impose curriculum when they should negotiate it *with* the students.

How do you do that? Start by asking the kids what interests them and what they want to learn about. Then artfully guide them to things they never knew existed.


  1. Thanks for this reminder. I think every teacher needs to slow down sometimes, take a deep breath and move forward teaching kids, not content.

  2. Every Thursday our Class Congress works. The groups meet in committee, pass the laws as a class (often the laws revolve around procedures or curriculum) and then I either veto it or accept it. I haven't had to veto anything this year. And so far it's led to the enrichment centers, the class lizard, the use of mp3 players (shh . . . don't tell) and the customized independent projects.

    Negotiation is key, but what I love about the Class Congress is that the negotiation begins at the personal and peer level. I work with them, but mostly to ask questions and clarify their thinking.

    8th graders know what they need most of the time.


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