Perhaps the tipping point over to CI has actually been reached. For fifteen years in this space (eleven of them private), I have heard teachers expressing their concerns that CI cannot be fitted into every single curricular/philosophical model being used throughout the entire school building. Their concerns have always been sprinkled with a low grade fear that someone in the building will “find out” that they are not aligning with the curricular initiative that all the subjects taught in the build are required to adhere to.
But with the advent of Cameron’s two “Square Peg Round Hole” books, that is changing and today in an email I read a most welcome and refreshing sentence from a member of our community, Elizabeth Palmer in Iowa, here:
…in the preservice PD the focus will be on Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching, so I will see how I can see that through the lens of research based language acquisition. Any new initiative in which they embark us is going to have to fit and serve the CI/Natural Approach….
This is the statement of a strong teacher who will not back down in defending the research!
…this is my transition year, and maybe I’ll stump and bump but I do not want to look back….
I am very happy that she said that. Most people get weak on this point. She is exhibiting a winner’s attitude. Is it not, in fact, a very true statement that we should base everything we do on the research and the standards? When we are forced by the powers-that-be in our buildings and by freaks at the district level who understand nothing about how people acquire languages, shouldn’t we simply inform the people for whom we work that their model, for our field only, does not align with the research? (See David Young 2015 post – link below – for more on that point.)
When we are forced to bend the truths found in the research and the standards to agree with a dusty, blurred lens/curricular model (think common assessments and a whole host of things that for too many long years now we have been stupidly asked to pair our instruction with in awkward ways), then shouldn’t we challenge that model and, as this teacher says so well above, make the models “fit and serve” the research?
(There a few articles from the past on Marzano. Here is a good one from 2015: https://benslavic.com/blog/marzano/)
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could