We're developing some curriculum and while the developers are very proud of their preliminary drafts, they have been a little shell-shocked by the highly critical feedback that our parent-educators are providing. After I sent along a few emails, I wrote the following to help my educational developers get a feel for the context....
I'm glad you're reading and struggling with the feedback. Obviously, homeschool parents are not like professional educators.
They are outspoken, not-intimidated by credentials, don't give false praise, and are not politically-aware (nor -correct). They feel like educational veterans having spent day and night for years wrestling with the limitations of existing curriculum. They are passionate, they want the materials to be better for their children now. They are willing to experiment. And Time4Learning has raised expectations about the level of interactivity.
As a resource for getting feedback on educational materials and curriculum, I think they have tremendous potential. I'm hoping over the next year to get a real system in place for getting feedback and suggestions. I think this will be easier for finished materials where we are just looking for bugs or suggestions or ratings (great, OK, weak). I think it will be harder for materials that are early in development where they are being looked at somewhat out of context. But, if I am really going to launch into curriculum development, I will need to have an efficient feedback loop.
I think their feedback is great guidance to getting us "on-track" although in some cases, expectations are out-of-whack.
I hope you are using this feedback with the teacher although perhaps filtering it before passing it on....
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