Wasn't Englemann the same one who said (paraphrased), "Making curriculum and teaching it at the same time is like building the airplane as you try to fly it...".Building the airplane while you try to fly it---I love that!
Curriculum is hard. At one of my schools I spent 30 hours over the summer just making a scope and sequence with four other people. "Making your own curriculum" is just shorthand for non-systematic throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
I don't remember reading that before.
Let me tell you: 30 hours to write a scope and sequence with four other people sounds fast to me.
That reminds me!
Daniel Kahneman has a fabulous curriculum-writing story in Thinking, Fast and Slow:
A few years after my collaboration with Amos began, I convinced some officials in the Israeli Ministry of Education of the need for a curriculum to teach judgment and decision making in high schools. The team that I assembled to design the curriculum and write a textbook for it included several experienced teachers, some of my psychology students, and Seymour Fox, then dean of the Hebrew University's School of Education, who was an expert in curriculum development.Planning fallacy
After meeting every Friday afternoon for about a year, we had constructed a detailed outline of the syllabus, had written a couple of chapters, and had run a few sample lessons in the classroom. We all felt that we had made good progress. One day, as we were discussing procedures for estimating uncertain quantities, the idea of conducting an exercise occurred to me. I asked everyone to write down an estimate of how long it would take us to submit a finished draft of the textbook to the Ministry of Education. I was following a procedure that we already panned to incorporate into our curriculum: the proper way to elicit information from a group is not by starting with a public discussion but by confidentially collecting each person's judgment. ... I collected the estimates and jotted the results on the blackboard. They were narrowly centered around two years; the low end was one and a half, the high end two and a half years.
Then I had another idea. I turned to Seymour, our curriculum expert, and asked whether he could think of other teams similar to ours that had developed a curriculum from scratch. This was a time when several pedagogical innovations like "new math" ha been introduced, and Seymour said he could think of quite a few.
He fell silent. When he finally spoke, it seemed to me that he was blushing, embarrassed by his own answer: "You know, I never realized this before, but in fact not all the teams at a stage comparable to ours ever did complete their task...."
This was worrisome; we had never considered the possibility that we mint fail. My anxiety rising, I asked how large he estimated that fraction was. "About 40%," he answered. By now, a pall of gloom was falling over the room. The next question was obvious: "Those who finished," I asked. "How long did it take them?" "I cannot think of any grow that finished in less than seven years," he replied, "nor any that took more than ten."
Our state of mind when we heard Seymour is not well described by stating what we "knew." Surely all of us "knew" that a minimum of seven years and a 40% chance of failure was a more plausible forecast of the fate of our project than the numbers we had written on our slips of paper a few minutes earlier. But we did not acknowledge what we knew. The new forecast still seemed unreal, because we could not imagine how it could take so long to finish a project that looked so manageable. ... All we could see was a reasonable plan that should produce a book in about two years....
We should have quit that day. None of us was willing to invest six more years of work in a project with a 40% chance of failure. Although we must have ended that persevering was not reasonable, the warning did not provide an immediately compelling reason to quit. After a few minutes of desultory debate, we gathered ourselves together and carried on as if nothing had happened. The book was eventually completed eight(!) years later. By that time I was no longer living in Israel and had long since ceased to be part of the tam, which completed the task after many unpredictable vicissitudes. The initial enthusiasm for the idea in the Ministry of Education had waned by the time the text was delivered and it was never used.
This embarrassing episode remains one of the most instructive experiences of my professional life.