It’s possible to teach history, science and literature at the same time, reports the Washington Post in a look at the new elementary curriculum in Montgomery County, Maryland, developed as part of a $2.25 million agreement with Pearson, the world’s largest education publisher.
In a first-grade class at the school, veteran teacher Gale Mundy read “Little Red Riding Hood” to her students. Then Mundy, who has taught for 26 years, asked her students whether they went on walks by themselves.
“Noooooooo!” they said.
“Only when you’re 8,” one girl said.
“When you’re 10,” a boy said.
“18,” came the final bid.
“They’re more engaged, and it means more to them,” (Mundy) said. “The important message was always hard to pull out for them” through the old methods, which isolated one skill at a time: first reading comprehension, plowing through a new folk tale every day, then writing later in the year in a letter-writing unit, she said.
This is new? Elementary teachers throughout human civilization have read stories, talked about the stories with the class and usually asked students to draw a picture or write about the story.
But proponents say Pearson’s integrated curriculum “involves more analytical skills.”
First-graders might read a story about patterns, listen to rhythmic patterns in music class and play a skipping game in gym class that requires them to move their bodies in a physical pattern.
Building multiple lessons around a theme: Wow!
The Post is puffing the latest education fad without asking questions about “the $2.25 million outlay, the cost of training and implementation, the evidence this is working, whether previous efforts of this bent have actually paid off, or about possible unanticipated consequences,” writes Rick Hess.