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Culture, Curriculum & Pedagogy. SCSU EDU200 Professor M. Bless Spring 2014. A Nation at Risk & NCLB. 1983 Government report: A Nation at Risk : 13 percent of all US 17 -year-olds in the considered functionally illiterate

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culture curriculum pedagogy

Culture, Curriculum & Pedagogy


Professor M. Bless

Spring 2014

a nation at risk nclb
A Nation at Risk & NCLB
  • 1983 Government report: A Nation at Risk:
    • 13 percent of all US 17-year-olds in the considered functionally illiterate
    • Steady decline in science achievement scores of U.S. 17-year-olds from 1969-1977
    • Remedial math courses in public 4-year colleges increased by 72% between 1975-1980
    • Suggested solution: reform our Nation’s schools
  • 2001: No Child Left Behind Act
    • Emphasis on testing & accountability
    • Tied to funding
think and write
Think and Write:
  • What is school culture and how is it created?
teacher student relationships


  • Positive teacher-student relationships are associated with:
    • Increasing student understanding and meaningfulness of what is being taught
    • Feeling a sense of personal empowerment
    • Decreasing incidences of depression
    • Improving self-confidence
    • Reducing student stress
    • Developing resiliency
    • Improving creativity
    • Other???
the american family


SOURCE: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011.

Figure 4.2

children living in poverty


22% of American children live in poverty.

SOURCE: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011.

books and socioeconomic class


SOURCE: Adapted from Royal Van Horn, Bridging the Chasm between Research and Practice: A Guide to Major Educational Research.(Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2008), p. 32.

Figure 4.3

kindergartners read to daily


Percent of Children


SOURCE: Adapted from Royal Van Horn. Bridging the Chasm between Research and Practice: A Guide to Major Educational Research. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2008), p. 33.

words in the home


Number of Words

Family Income

SOURCE: Adapted from Royal Van Horn. Bridging the Chasm between Research and Practice: A Guide to Major Educational Research. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2008), p. 39.

national high school graduation rates


SOURCE: Education Week, Diplomas Count 2012.

Figure 4.4

  • Formal/explicit curriculum
      • The formal written set of courses and content
  • Hidden/implicit curriculum
      • Competition, rule following, embarrassment, rejection, reward & punishment, American values & culture
  • Null curriculum
    • What gets left out—controversial texts, history, sex education, etc.
  • Extra-curriculum
    • Sports, drama, clubs, etc.
forms of bias


Student-Generated Responses

  • BIAS
  • Invisibility
  • Stereotyping
  • Imbalance/selectivity
  • Unreality
  • Fragmentation/isolation
  • Linguistic bias
  • Cosmetic bias
grouping tracking
Grouping & Tracking
  • Ability grouping (AKA homogeneous grouping) = the practice of grouping students by “ability” or performance level
  • Tracking = students rigidly tracked into levels with no opportunity to improve or take more challenging courses
  • Heterogeneous grouping = grouping students all together regardless of “ability”
what is worth knowing
What is Worth Knowing?

2 Ways of Conceptualizing Knowledge

bloom s revised taxonomy
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001

dok is about depth and complexity not difficulty
DOK is about depth and complexity—not difficulty
  • The intended student learning outcome determines the DOK level—What mental processing must occur?
  • It is what comes after the verb that is the best indicator of the rigor/DOK level:
    • Describe the process of photosynthesis
    • Describe how the two political parties are alike or different
    • Describe the most significant effect of WWII on the nations of Europe
hess s cognitive rigor matrix
Hess’s Cognitive Rigor Matrix

What type of thinking (verbs) are needed to complete a task?

How deeply do you have to understand the content to successfully interact with it?

How complex or abstract is the content?



what is pedagogy
What is Pedagogy?
  • “..effective teaching is not some complex combination of talent, technique or long experience” (Schmoker, 2011)
  • “…for outstanding teachers, the root cause of success is not some gift but work ethic, diligence, and high personal standards” (Lemov, 2010)
  • Pedagogy = the “science” of teaching
teaching job 1 classroom management
Teaching Job #1: Classroom Management

Creating a climate for learning by:

  • Establishing routines & procedures
  • Planning for instruction
    • Physical space
    • Affective environment
  • Developing presence
school time


SOURCE: From Jon Goodlad, A Place Called School (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984/2004).

direct teaching
Direct Teaching
  • Based on an apprenticeship model
  • Teacher-centered—teacher as expert
  • Highly structured
  • Teacher presents new material
  • Students practice the material
  • Teacher assesses student performance
  • Teacher gives feedback
teaching strategies wait time
Teaching Strategies: Wait Time
  • Average teacher wait time is 1 second, but...
  • When wait time increases to 3 seconds:
    • The length of student responses increases
    • More frequent, unsolicited contributions (relevant to the discussion) are made
    • An increase in the logical consistency of students' explanations occurs
    • Students voluntarily increase the use of evidence to support inferences
    • The incidence of speculative response increases
    • The number of questions asked by students increases
    • Greater participation by all learners occurs
teaching strategies brain based learning
Teaching Strategies: Brain-Based Learning
  • Beginning-End-Middle Principle (AKA the primacy-regency principle)
    • Students learn most from the beginning and end of an activity
    • Chunking lessons into 3-5 learning activities minimizes“middles”
cooperative learning
Cooperative Learning
  • Small group learning
  • Student-centered
  • Differentiated
  • Students learn from each other
  • Teacher acts as a facilitator
mastery learning
Mastery Learning
  • Teaching philosophy in which students must demonstrate “mastery” before moving on to the next level
  • Student-centered
differentiated instruction definition 1
Differentiated Instruction: Definition 1

“In the context of education, we define differentiation as a teacher’s reacting responsively to a learner’s needs…The goal of a differentiated classroom is maximum student growth and individual success.”

Tomlinson & Allan, 2002

SERC 2009

differentiated instruction definition 2
Differentiated Instruction: Definition 2

Curriculum differentiation is a process teachers use to enhance student learning by matching various curriculum components to characteristics shared by subgroups of learners in the classroom (e.g., learning style preferences, interests, prior knowledge, learning rate).

Purcell & Burns


SERC 2009

differentiated instruction definition 3
Differentiated Instruction: Definition 3

Differentiating instruction is doing what’s fair for students.  It’s a collection of best practices strategically employed to maximize students’ learning at every turn, including giving them the tools to handle anything that is undifferentiated.  It requires us to do different things for different students some, or a lot, of the time. It’s whatever works to advance the student if the regular classroom approach doesn’t meet students’ needs.  It’s highly effective teaching. (Wormeli, 2007)

SERC 2009

teachers can differentiate
Teachers Can Differentiate...


According to...

Readiness- offering a range of learning tasks (concrete or abstract; simple or complex; more structured or more open, etc.)

Interests-allowing students to have a say in how they will apply the key skills being studied

Learning Profile-taking into account the students’ learning styles & ways of knowing

  • Content- deciding which content is essential and making strategic decisions about what to focus on
  • Process- engaging students in inquiry-based learning tasks with real world application
  • Products-developing performance tasks in which the student rehearses, applies or extends what he or she has learned
  • Learning Environment- creating a welcoming, safe, and academic learning environment
differentiated instruction is
Differentiated Instruction Is...
  • A student-centered philosophy of teaching that directly opposes tracking/ability grouping
  • Predicated upon a growth mindset
  • Requires 75% planning time /20% teaching time
  • Multifaceted
  • Intended to be doable for targeted lessons or learning tasks
s tudent differences for teachers to consider
Student Differences for Teachers to Consider
  • Prior knowledge, readiness
  • Cognitive processes/thinking skills
  • Reading level
  • Interests, strengths
  • Motivation, attitude
  • Technology skills
  • Communication preferences
  • Learning style
  • Native Language