Let’s try a different tack here today with some actual curriculum

Rather than comment once again on the dramatic deficiencies of the deform movement, allow me to inform the reader on what educators actually do. I’m helping to rewrite a chapter in an elementary social studies methods textbook and here’s a brief draft excerpt:

Give students evidence, one clue at a time. Ask them to consider each clue, then to revise their responses to the EQ. For the evidence gathering, consider using the resource Who Wants Pizza (2010) by Jan Thornhill. We also recommend using a collection of resources that address the other individual ingredients in more detail, such as Extra Cheese, Please! Mozzarella’s Journey From Cow to Pizza (Peterson, 2003) and The Biography of Tomatoes (Morganelli, 2007).

Organize students into smaller working groups. Provide some kind of notes page for “data” collection. Students will circulate among the four clue stations with copies of excerpts from various texts and resources, or highlight specific pages in certain texts. Consider breaking up the pizza ingredients thusly:


Clue #1: Dairy and cheese


Clue #2: Tomatoes and other produce (e.g., peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, etc.)


Clue #3: Herbs and spices (e.g., oregano, basil, salt, pepper, etc.)


Clue #4: The crust or dough (e.g., flour, yeast, olive oil, etc.)


Conclusions:Revise Hypotheses. Conclude with a discussion of all the players and resources involved with making pizza. Ask students to use the combination of clues to answer the EQ: How do we get our pizza from the farm to our tables?

See. We make stuff. This is just a draft and an excerpt completely out of context. But still. There’s more to what we do than simply piss and moan about the next deform suggestion. Sure, pissing and moaning is sometimes necessary. Someone has to. So yes, there is plenty real educators can offer every and all aspects of this debate.

1 Comment

  1. This pizza example shows that teaching is not simply telling. It is also not bringing the material “down” to the student level. Teaching is designing instruction to help the student learn. This means that the information or practices or skills often need to be dissected and scrambled and maybe even have parts added or removed. It is not a process of watering down what experts know. That means that a teacher needs to not only know the content, but also needs to know how people learn. I have heard college professors who are outstanding in their field of research but lousy teachers described as being “too smart to teach.” That is a misnomer. It is not that they have an overabundance of knowledge. It is that they are lacking the knowledge and skills of being a teacher.


Comments are closed.