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Decisions about Classroom Curriculum

How much input should parents, community members, and local leaders have in deciding what is to be taught? Justify your response. Should all students be taught the same curriculum? Why or why not? Should we teach religious studies in public schools? Why or why not?

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Two very interesting observations can be made about this first question. First of all students aren't mentioned at all. The second is that the question is focusing on what is taught rather than on what is learned. This is an important distinction. This is somewhat understandable if the question is really about states' versus federal rights over education. From that perspective it is clear from both a constitutional and practical perspective that the federal government has no authority in education and that education is reserved for the states and local governments to oversee.

However, from an educational perspective it is vital to make students the primary stakeholder in this discussion and we must shift the focus from what is taught to what is learned. Since the student is the one learning he/she should have the primary say in what is learned. It is, after all, his or her life and future we are talking about. Once the skills of reading, writing and basic math have been acquired the student should be free to study whatever he/she finds interesting. Teachers can serve as mentors to help guide students in their choices and to develop assessments that ...

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The following posting discusses how much input parents, community members and local leaders have in deciding what should be taught in classrooms.