Reflection Paper: Are Standards In Language Arts Education

1293 Words 5 Pages
Inquiry Project

The question that I decided to monitor my feelings about during this term was: Are standards in language arts education necessary why or why not? Set standards in language arts education is a popular belief in most western education communities. Originally, I believed that it was necessary to have set standards in language arts education, so that every student in a certain place, for example British Columbia, would learn the same thing in a certain grade. I also thought it was important to have set standards so that teachers for every grade level knew what they were required to teach to a certain grade. Initially, I believed that having set standards would help to even out the playing field for all students, but once entering
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Department heads in different districts and high schools seem to have a great influence on what curriculum is taught, and what texts are read in language art classes year after year. I am hoping that with the new B.C. curriculum 's prescribed outcomes, teachers will have more freedom to teach language arts to their students as they see fit. While I was preparing my lesson plans for my short practicum I started finding it was a chore to go through the B.C. curriculum standards and pick out the ones that my lesson would be covering, such as "student will construct meaningful personal connections between self, text, and world," because I realized more and more that my lessons already included many of the standards that this document contained. I can definitely see the benefits of having standards, but I am now also beginning to see the benefits of not having any. One of the main reasons I am no longer as supportive of standards is because with standards, assessment is so heavily based on if your students have met certain standards. I want to help my students make improvements over the term of taking my course. I want to base my assessments on improvement shown by the individual student, not based on how well they met the prescribed language arts standards, because every student is in a different place on their …show more content…
My own perception of what I should teach in a language arts class has changed. I do not want to try to cover content in my classes set by written and unwritten standards on language arts education. Rather I would like my language arts classes to allow many opportunities for my students to interact with each other, and engage with language in different and creative ways; I believe this will give them the most meaningful language arts education. In his article "Seriousness and the Foundations of Education," John Wilson says that where "the pupil is being encouraged to examine himself deeply, his concepts and emotions, this can be only done if there is enough closeness to generate trust (153). As a language arts teacher, ideally my goal will be to foster a safe environment where all my students feel comfortable being inquisitive, sharing their thoughts, as well as having passionate conversations about various topics in a respectful manner. Wilson also talks about the importance of a person feeling safe when they are being exposed to different ideas. Wilson says that there needs to be an environment of enough mutual trust and understanding in order for students to feel safe enough to explore

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