Cumulative Knowledge

Curriculum Team Leader

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I’m sort of envious of teachers of subjects with a hierarchical knowledge structure. In my ignorance, those subjects seem to have an easier job of mapping out their curriculum (reading this by Adam Boxer has done something to correct this misconception). In a broad and cumulative subject like English, we’ve got to be careful to decide on and plan for the knowledge we want students to retain. We’ve also got to be realistic that, depending on how you look at it, students won’t remember everything we teach. This sounds heretical but if I use a short story to teach the story arc, I don’t expect students to remember the story and I don’t plan for this either by revisiting it or quizzing on it; I expect them to remember the story arc.

The Process of Education by Jerome Bruner is far from being a knowledge-rich…

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