Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Content Quotient Matters

What is the content quotient for your students and educators?

The more I teach, the more I realize that if students or teachers are responsible for a quantity of content that far outpaces time for depth, the learning and teaching will be diluted.

For example, as I study math today, I recognize how many more ways I can teach this subject with depth. The more attention I give the subject and the multiple ways to teach, study, and apply the details, the better I'll be at coaching students towards mastery and a love of math. The same is true for writing, reading, and deep project base learning in science and social studies. To teach well, we need to narrow and deepen the content path.

We don't want to replicate old time one subject-one teacher models, but instead we want to teach an interdisciplinary curriculum that has deep roots in specific subject/content areas. Hence as I talk about specializing in math, I'm not referring to a math-only study, but instead an interdisciplinary approach to math that focuses on deep math knowledge and interdisciplinary application.

Children today are very bright. Their access to high level content online and in their world is significant. I think the days of one teacher and multiple content areas at elementary school are no longer effective given the potential we have to coach deep understanding and skill if we narrow and deepen the content we are responsible for.