The Commercialization of Education: Who/What is in Control?

computer

I wonder if classroom teachers are allowed to have a thought. More and more districts are buying big packages to solve their Math, ELA, etc. problem. These packages dictate how the teachers are to do Math and ELA: put the students on the computer for 30 minutes a day; or rotate students through these stations and do these activities. I observed learning and technology in a school where the teachers did not teach Math because the computer package did it for them. After sitting with students and having them think aloud as they did the package, I quickly realized that teachers should be teaching Math.

Do commercial packages compliment or surplant teachers? Why do districts hire qualified teachers if they buy packages that do Math for them? Why do districts bother with curriculum development and professional development if they buy curriculum packages? I know of several teachers who are retiring because they feel that they are no longer required to teach but just to computer sit their students!

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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