Instructional Design Models

Martin Ryder, Website, Jun 29, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm posting this up-to-date page for our local newspaper, which made a mash of both Diane Ravitch and instructional design models in a single column this morning which regales us with a simplistic (to the point of trivial) model of 'vertical' and 'horizontal' instructional design. And we are told that Ravitch is telling us that "student teachers do not know that the horizontally organized curriculum they have experienced throughout their careers in school is not the only design for curricula." This is typical of the writing that some Canadian politically-oriented 'economic think tanks' (I use the term very loosely) have been publishing in Canadian newspapers in an apparent effort to import a certain way of thinking about schools.

I'm so lucky to be able to be able to read Ravitch for myself rather than depend on the politically motivate claptrap in our local newspaper, and so read (in complete contrast to the 'think tank' position) from Ravitch that "If I could succeed in getting the powerful in D.C. and in the foundation world to rethink their commitment to high-stakes testing, closing schools, and firing teachers; if I could persuade them that poverty does impair school achievement and that schools alone can't close the many gaps that are rooted in income inequality; if I could get them to seek positive ways to help schools and strengthen the teaching profession, I would be happy indeed." Amen.
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