April 29, 2016: Why Teachers Don't Collaborate on Lesson Development

Later: Christina Koch wrote a rejoinder to this article that says a lot of insightful things better than I ever have, and Dan Meyer wrote a post as well.

For the last three years, I've been asking people why teachers don't collaborate at scale on lesson development in the way that programmers collaborate on open source software and pretty much everybody collaborates on Wikipedia. I put this question to a room full of people who know more about education than I do back in January, and got some new answers. I've summarized them below, along with my rejoinders.

The most interesting observation was that while teachers might not collaborate, they do remix: finding other people's materials online or in textbooks and reworking them is common practice. That suggests that the root problem is a flawed analogy: rather than lesson development being like writing Wikipedia articles or open source software, perhaps it's more like postmodern music.

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