Keeping up with the pace of change

Spectrum Podcasts audio linkEpisode Summary: How well does our educational system fit in with the cultural and economic context in which they exist—or not! Dr. Biffle  and Dr. Bluestein explores the challenges of trying to keep up with societal and technological changes, as well as changes in the workplace, and the degree to which our schools are still mired in the fundamental and sacred aspects of a curriculum, structure, and set of policies that were established two to three hundred years ago.

Dr. Biffle describes how “paradigm paralysis,” “generational gatekeeping,” and socioeconomic disparity have made an asset-based approach to educating children so difficult, and what needs to happen in order for this to change. Right-click on this link to download a copy of this mp3 file to your hard drive, or click on the bar below to listen.

See below for related links and resources.

Spectrum Podcasts with Dr. Richard BiffleDr. Richard Biffle

Web site:

Dr. Richard Biffle is currently an Associate Professor of Education. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside; an M.A. in Education Administration and Leadership from Eastern Michigan University; and his Ph.D. in Educational Anthropology from the University of New Mexico.

A former elementary and middle school teacher, Dr. Biffle is currently President of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum. He is finishing work on Class 1944K: Journey of A Lifetime, a book that examines the lives of an aviation cadet class of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. His second book, A Geo-Ethnographer’s Guide to the Universe, co-authored with Dr. Pamela B. Thompson, explores the qualitative and ethnographic intersections of space, physical landscapes, and human expressions and interactions.

This program was recorded on June 15, 2012. The content is also available on the Energize Students Web site.

© 2012, Dr. Jane Bluestein, Father Sky Media.

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Spectrum Podcasts are brought to you by Father Sky Media, a divsion of Instructional Support Services, Inc. These programs are sponsored by

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Related links:

The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, by Abner Pediwell. McGraw-Hill first published The Saber-Tooth Curriculum in 1939, and it has remained a classic bestseller to this date. The book is just as relevant and applicable to the key questions in education today as it was when it was first published. Available from Amazon.

The Saber-Tooth Curriculum Revisited: A Brief Walk in Time.” Abstract by Dr. Richard Biffle.

Understanding Schools in Context,” by Dr. Jane Bluestein. Excerpt from Becoming a Win-Win Teacher.

Brave New World: The Changing Role of the School,” by Dr. Jane Bluestein. Excerpt from Creating Emotionally Safe Schools.

The Discipline Trap: Catching up to the 21st Century,” by Dr. Jane Bluestein. Excerpt from The Win-Win Classroom.

American Schools in Crisis,” by Diane Ravitch. Article in The Saturday Evening Post.

“Industrial Age Classrooms vs. Information Age Classrooms,” by Dr. Jane Bluestein. Excerpt from The Win-Win Classroom.

The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business, by Dennis Littky and Samantha Grabell. The schools Littky has created and led over the past 35 years are models for reformers everywhere: small, public schools where the curriculum is rich and meaningful, expectations are high, student progress is measured against real-world standards, and families and communities are actively engaged in the educational process. Available from Amazon.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” by Marc Prensky. From On the Horizon, MCB University Press.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Part II: Do they Really Think Differently?” by Marc Prensky. From On the Horizon, MCB University Press.

The School as a Dysfunctional Family,” by Dr. Jane Bluestein. Excerpt from Creating Emotionally Safe Schools.

Also see:

List of Spectrum Podcasts by guest
List of Spectrum Podcasts by topics
About Dr. Jane Bluestein

© 2012, Dr. Jane Bluestein, Father Sky Media.

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2 thoughts on “The Saber-Tooth Curriculum Revisited with Dr. Richard Biffle

  1. Describe the kind of curriculum that exists as describe in the article.

    1. I will continue to answer this question by referring to the podcast and maybe ask how you would describe a curriculum that would address what students need to know to contribute to the world of 2021 and beyond. Thank you.

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