The Uneasy Coexistence of High Stakes and Developmental Practice

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Harrington-Lueker, D. (2000). The uneasy coexistence of high stakes and developmental practice.  Online:

Written in 2000, the following well illustrates how schools and educators are affected by the propagation of faddish teaching practices.  In the eighties, states dropped traditional teacher-led instruction in order to adopt developmentally appropriate practice in grades K-2.  When school outcomes declined and test-based accountability was imposed to stop the slide, school leaders bemoaned the retreat from what they had been assured was enlightened teaching practice.

“When a state issues a mandate for standardized tests, its actions can retard developmentally appropriate practices.
‘We had to wean teachers away from the old practices,’ says [Deputy Superintendent] Ballowe. ‘Now the pressure is on to return to the old routine.'”

Teacher educators convinced a generation of teachers, administrators,and parents that traditional teacher-led instruction was bad for children and, without intervention, it could take another generation to convince them otherwise.

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