The first of the two documents in MDS-759 is a manifesto against off-the-shelf curriculum. Prepackaged materials, according to the author, work in ways hostile to the best elements of current reforms such as collaboration between teachers, improved pedagogy, and increased rigor of school programs. The second article describes how work-centered education can rejuvenate beleaguered urban schools. Programs like academies, occupational clusters, and magnet schools take advantage of the best characteristics of citiesÄemployment and community resources for out of school learning experiences and schools large enough to facilitate the development of academies and clusters. Work-centered education can resolve many of the problems of urban schools through integrating academic and vocational tracks, and is of special benefit to the low-income students most in need of assistance. By embracing this type of curriculum and pedagogy, the author concludes, urban schools may again become leaders of educational reform.
MDS-759 / January 1996