Door-knocking conversation

Last night I spoke to a CBE teacher who has been part of the Literacy Strategy teacher cohort.  She, along with a group of other teachers havehad the opportunity to participate in ongoing professional development sessions. 

She reported that the professional development sessions promote, almost exclusively, literacy learning in a social context (i.e. not independent learning). While she noted that there have been some very useful 'take aways' from this (she wan't by any means panning it entirely), she also used the term "you have to drink the Kool-Aid".

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" was in reference to the ideology behind everything being promoted. There is one philosophy of education to which all teachers are expected to align (constructivist philosophy). She worries about the de-emphasis (to the point of discouraging) on explicit instruction, Her own expertise tells her that there are places where direct, explicit instruction is required for optimal student learning. Her philosophy fits with the science of reading (need for direct, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness/phonics/vocabulary) but is not well valued in the CBE. 

So - there is a literacy strategy that doesn't refer to reading and requires teachers to "drink the Kool-Aid". This needs to change. It can, with the right Board of Trustees, who are able to develop policy and expected results, and to monitor them effectively. 

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