Topic: Leadership Issues
I'm working on the final chapter of my new book on the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS*T), which will be published by ISTE in early 2007.
While thinking about how I wanted to wrap up this thing in a way that would drive several points home again without sounding too preachy, I reread a portion of the Saber-Tooth Curriculum (this link leads to an adaptation of one section). Basically, this part is about an early Stone Age guy who develops a simple curriculum designed to teach his children how to find food and clothing, and keep safe from saber-tooth tigers. His children are so successful that the curriculum is soon adopted throughout the valley. Then a new Ice Age dawns and the old skills in the curriculum are no longer applicable to life in the valley. Some adults suggest changing the curriculum but are immediately 'put in their place' by the elders who tell them there are universal truths that never change and these are all embodied in the Saber-Tooth Curriculum.
The book was originally published in 1939, and I first ran across it in a methods course way back in 1977, but it definitely pertains to ongoing discussions among educators today. If you haven't read it, start with the adaptation, then jump over to Amazon (or whatever) and buy the book. It was reprinted in 2004 and costs less than $10.
I'm planning to figure out a couple of PD exercises based on it...