Sliding Curriculum

Dear Terrence,

Today, as we went over the essential question “What makes a good research/inquiry question?” I found myself in familiar territory. Our first point was that a good question will not be general but will also not be too specific. I gave a few examples, and we moved on. After all, I wanted to get to what I thought would be the difficult part for you guys: making sure research questions don’t have built-in assumptions.

I never made it that far because I learned, once again — how many times will I have to relearn this? — that I’d assumed too much.

“What’s ‘general’ mean?” someone asked.

“Yeah,” you chimed in.

I thought that by eighth grade, you guys would know the difference between general and specific. I was wrong.

It was just another in a long line of curriculum corrections I’ve had to make through the year because I’d assumed you guys knew something. To be honest, I don’t really remember having to learn what “general” and “specific” mean. That indicates that, like reading, it was something I learned in elementary school and simply came to take for granted. But here you are in eighth grade, unsure what “general” versus “specific” might mean.

When will I ever learn what you guys need to learn?

Tired of leaving you guys behind, even momentarily,
Your Teacher


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