Teachers are the composers, orchestrating the rhythm of learning in the classroom. You pull materials from multiple sources, match resources to student needs, and iterate on your plans to help students meet their goals. You alternate between the regular and the random, where every moment is a progression. To be successful, it’s helpful to know what has worked in the past to create your own symphony in tailoring the learning environment.
Unfortunately, what works isn’t always so clear. There are the reading wars, the digital divide, new math, project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and many more examples of competing educational approaches. Are they all different things? Or do they overlap? The way things are laid out, it’s hard to know when the differences between approaches are just semantics or if we need to take a side. I’ve found that even if research-based strategies seem simple and make sense on the surface, there are many complexities once I dig deeper. I’m sure many of you crave a framework that could take a 10,000-foot view over it all and help evaluate what methods work best for our students.
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