Bruno: The *Real* Causes Of "Teaching To The Test"
He doesn't frame them exactly this way, but Daniel Willingham's recent posts on the lack of elementary-level science instruction shed more light on a point I've made previously: that many concerns about "teaching to the test" are at least partially misguided.
Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 22, 2012 3:02 AM
As he points out, much of the marginalization of science in elementary schools predates NCLB, which suggests that curriculum narrowing can't be entirely explained by high-stakes testing. (A more likely culprit? Only 1/3 of elementary school teachers feel prepared to teach science in the first place.)
Additionally, Willingham elaborates on the importance of teaching content to promote reading comprehension. Even as late as 3rd grade elementary students are spending nearly half of their school time on English Language Arts, which leaves little time for the numerous other subjects - like science and history - that are so important to building students' content knowledge and, in turn, their ability to understand what they read.
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