The Term “Teacher-Proof”: Fallacy & Outcomes

Erroneous: The term “Teacher-Proof” implies poor teachers 

  • Purchasers of “teacher-proof” programs agree they have poor teachers.
  • This results in valuing programs difficult to follow without help of a teacher.
  • Even McRel writes that “Notions of creating a “teacher-proof” curriculum – a curriculum so flawless that anyone could teach it – have long since been discredited.”
  • I (and others) say “We have thrown out the baby with the bath water.”

Correction:  Excellent Materials are User-, Teacher-, & Student-Friendly (not Teacher-Proof)

  • Excellent materials make sense without gimmicky teacher guides or supplements.
  • Currently schools are organized so extraordinary teachers can only do ordinary jobs. Schools should be designed to allow ordinary teachers to do extra-ordinary jobs, (Reigeluth, 2001)
  • A competent, caring teacher is a key factor to student success. But we cannot photocopy or mass-produce excellent, caring teachers; We can mass-produce excellent, caring materials.
  • In Berliner’s observations about expert teachers’ classrooms (1984).  He found routines “embedded in the classroom activities… shared, scripted, virtually automated pieces of action [which] allow students and teachers to devote their attention to other, perhaps more important, matters inherent in the lesson.” 





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