It is easy with so much pressure placed on educators, to change teaching materials and methodology with almost frightening regularity. It often seems that particular approaches are no sooner introduced, trialled and bedded down, that exhortation to change comes over the educational horizon. We need to move with the times and stay relevant. We also need to work in a progressive and steady way within our schools and toward our students.

Ignoring change is foolish but reaching out to eagerly grasp new approaches before they have been properly considered is equally nonsensical. Consider that some who advocate wholesale change, do so because of marketing considerations and commercial interest in support materials.

Consider too, that we tend to go around in circles, discarding approaches to teaching and learning that are then reinstated as ‘new beaut’ ideas a decade or two later. Direct Instruction and Visible Learning are two ‘old now new’ approaches that come to mind. So too is the phonetic approach to teaching reading. That approach was tossed out for the whole word approach and has now come back in in many places because of its superiority.

Building education in a layered way, always considering what has gone before is important. Too often, that sensible approach is overlooked.

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