Tag Archives: Standards

EDU 6989: Session 1, National Standards vs Individualization

Session 1 National Standards vs Individualization

An issue causing debate with educational leaders is the idea of a national curriculum and standards for all students.  This would have every student learning the same material and assessed on the same standards.  Robert Hutchins (1953) argues that the purpose of education is to improve people and create intellectual and moral citizens.  If everyone had access to the same education with the same standards, there would be no disparity between groups and people would remain equal and free in society.  Theodore Sizer (1999) argues that people are inherently different and schools should embrace these differences.  This makes for more meaningful education and a place for students to perfect skills they are passionate about.

I can see the value of both Hutchins and Sizer in their thoughts of national standards and curriculum.  I would side more with Sizer’s arguments even though it would mean more work on the teacher’s part and creative solutions to assessing student’s growth.  If each student had their own rubric for grading it would be much more difficult to see where the class was achieving as a whole.  This system truly favors the child though and prepares them for doing their part in society.  “ . . . the insistent coaxing out of each child on his or her best terms of profoundly important intellectual habits and tools for enriching a democratic society . . . “ (Sizer, 1999, p 11)  Each student has strengths and something special to offer that creates balance in our world.  Kids need opportunities to discover their skills and examine how best they can influence their fellow citizens.

Reference

Sizer, T. R. (1999).  No Two are Quite Alike. Educational Leadership (57: 1) p. 7-11.

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