Assessing Our Way into Instruction: What Teachers Know and How They Know It
The beginning of the school year—it is a wonderful, fresh time for teachers and students to all begin anew. For me the opening of the new academic year offered time for reflection on the past but also promises to myself about what I would try to do and not do in the coming school year. Sadly, not until the time my elementary teaching life was ending did I move toward a strong belief in letting children lead the curriculum with strong side-by-side facilitation by me as their teacher. With the mandates of No Child Left Behind, those beliefs are currently not encouraged in elementary classrooms. Teachers feel so much pressure to increase test scores that many have resorted to transmission modes of teaching and materials that promise to prepare students for the test. In this chapter, however, I will discuss the tenets of constructivist teaching, what it looks like in an elementary classroom, and make a case for why these may be the basics we should be getting back to in classrooms across the country.
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