Teachers’ lives are dominated by scripts: the overt scripts of the curriculum, the “hidden” scripts of race, class, language, and culture, and the societal scripts of how teachers and students are supposed to relate to each other. All of these, however, are informed by the meta-script that the primary job of the teacher is to help children acquire knowledge and skills–a deeply embedded cultural model of teaching and learning that has been referred to as instructionism (Papert, 1994), as transmission and acquisition (Rogoff, 1990; Sfard, 1998), or as the banking model (Freire, 1994). Teachers are supposed to find the best techniques for helping children learn more so that they can know more. Reform efforts that aim at addressing the current problems in education generally attempt to make such learning more efficient, equitable, or accountable through smaller classes, culturally relevant pedagogy, and a major focus on testing and assessment. By many accounts (Darling-Hammond, 2007; Kohn, 2004; Kozol, 2005; Meier & Wood, 2004; Sizer, 2004), these efforts are not succeeding.
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