In school districts state-wide there has been an emphasis placed on pacing guides and passing the standardized tests. I feel that this has caused many teachers, schools, and districts to become too focused on meeting these pacing guides that they have lost sight on the needs of their students. It is almost saying “if we cover all the material, students will learn it” but in reality students may not be learning anything if one just flies through the materials. Scheuerman (2014) states that “the speed of learning is not the same as depth of learning; likewise rate is different from level” and furthermore, “teach less, and teach well”. Both are great examples that educators need to be reminded that the speed is not important, but the focus should be placed on the depth of learning.
The fourth grade classrooms at the school where I intern has adopted a new way of approach their math curriculum to help students conceptualize the theories and practices. Rather than force feeding algorithms and answers, students are required to solve problems on their own. The goal is for students to not rely on teachers being the “answer book” and for students to begin to understand the greater concepts of math. We are currently one unit behind the district pacing guide but feel that this is not an issue. We have seen the progress students are making by working through and conceptualizing problems on their own. Our hope is that with the development of these skills, students will be able to progress at a much quicker pace. This ideal ties back into the fact of teaching less and teaching well. It really focuses on not trying to cover too much material at one time (Scheuerman, 2014) and making sure students understand a concept before moving on.
Scheuerman, R. (2014, March 5). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 9: Technology and community and arts methods II.