Artifact #6: Critical Response Paper #7 (TE 822)

Artifact #6: Critical Response Paper #7 (TE 822)
Program Goals:
1
Standards:
1, 2, 5

            In this TE 822 Critical Response Paper (CRP), titled “Utilizing Students as the Basis for Curriculum Design,” I wrote an analytical and reflective response to the assigned readings.  Christine Sleeter’s text, Un-Standardizing Curriculum: Multicultural Teaching in the Standards Based Classroom, was helpful in teaching me the importance of using students’ culture, life experiences, prior knowledge, and communities to help design and implement curriculum.

            This short essay is evidence of my learning and thoughts about the use of students’ backgrounds, culture, and community as the basis of curriculum design (Standards 1 & 2).  After reading the chapter “Students as Curriculum” in Sleeter’s text, I constructed a scholarly response that includes a defensible interpretation and connections to my own experience and practice as an educator (Standard 5 & Goal 1).  This CRP supports the notion that as an educator it is my responsibility to get to know my students, their interests, and concerns.  The better I know my students and the knowledge and experiences that they bring to the classroom, the better able I am to teach them in meaningful and purposeful ways.  In this CRP, I discuss the use of a Morning Meeting to greet my students, learn something about them, and provide time for team-building exercises.  I have found that this daily group time provides children with the chance to feel more comfortable in the classroom.  It also provides me with better insight to who they are as individuals, which means I am better able to meet their unique needs as a teacher (Standards 1 &  2).

            Sleeter’s text taught me about the wealth of knowledge and resources that each individual student brings to the classroom.  The essential integration of students’ culture, prior knowledge, and community as curriculum has been a refreshing and challenging aspect of my teaching career.  The use of students as curriculum was a novel concept to me.  I was originally under the impression that all curricular information, decisions, and planning were based on the standards set forth by the state or school district.  Reading and reflecting upon Sleeter’s text helped me to see new opportunities in the classroom.  This artifact proves that it is not enough to simply be charismatic and get to know our students better.  Effective educators must utilize students and their individual culture, knowledge, and experiences as curriculum.

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