The third edition of The Curriculum Bridge begins its history of the status of American education with George W. Bush's 2008 "State of the Union" address, an event that took place seven years later than the onset of NCLB in 2001, the period of time that began the second edition. The new edition then looks back at the events of the previous three decades as they relate to the many current and historical influences on the schools of America. It also introduces some international comparisons. An intensive new update on the implementation of NCLB legislation is included. The pros and cons of federally mandated actions and their attached assessments are presented from the different viewpoints of teachers, researchers and the public. Descriptions of the impact of changes in the economy and an expanded media are also elaborated
The new edition presents emerging ideas of educational philosophy and the rapidly expanding findings of cognitive and neuroscience research. It delves deeply into the tools and findings of brain function research and how they may affect the science of teaching -- the theories of learning, and the practices that incorporate them. The specific connections of the research findings to the standards of curriculum as they are enacted in classroom practice are presented within the context of the curriculum products of agencies such as NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), the National Research Council, and the prescriptions of the states of California, Connecticut and Michigan. Precise examples of curriculum design in the current terms of content and performance standards are given. The need for explicit knowledge of embedded concepts and the frustration of teachers with the disparities and language of standards issued by the different agencies are also discussed.
The chapter on assessment in this edition expands on the methods of constructing formats and items that measure student knowledge of the matching curriculum. It also offers updated results on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) with comparisons to state test results. It reports on the reactions of teachers and the public to high-stakes tests as well as on their accomplishments and deficiencies including the tendency to "teach to the test." The benefits of disaggregating results and "value added" analyses are also addressed. The final chapter discusses the recent call for applications of test results to measures of teacher quality and the extensions and evaluations of research methods, including mixed-method approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative data.