Following a standardized curriculum is becoming more common in education today, however the effects that it is having on teachers and students is demeaning and wrong. Standardization insists on only one set of correct answers and one truth. It does not allow for students and teachers to express their ideas, questions and opinions. Students no longer play an active role in their learning, and it disengages them from wanting to learn.

Standardization does not allow for students to make sense of the world around them. With increasing multiculturalism in schools, students do not know how to properly approach the issues and questions they may have, as the standardized curriculum only focuses on the dominant culture. “Test questions inevitably focus on discrete facts, but cannot address the deeper, multifaceted meaning of facts” (p. 173, The New Teacher Book). The standardized tests are culturally biased and are made close to impossible for success in students who are new to Canada and cannot understand the English language or North American culture.  

The standardization being introduced into schools can have a detrimental effect on both teachers and students. Teachers become overwhelmed and pressured to teach all material in a short period of time. They cannot go into detail or follow student’s interests in learning. They are unaware of what material will be on the standardized tests, and they want their students to be as prepared as possible. The tests degrade the teachers’ role as a teacher. They display to students that they should memorize the facts being taught to them, and if their teacher goes beyond and in detail on a topic, they are simply wasting the students’ time. The students become stressed as well, and may form anxiety and only retain the material being taught for a short period of time.

I believe that standardization of the curriculum and tests is wrong. But, if standardization is becoming more common throughout North America, how can we prevent it from occurring in the school’s we teach?

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{Burant, Terry. The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance, and Hope during Your First Years in the Classroom, Second Edition.  Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, 2010. Print.}

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