An educator who is making determinations on what methods to employ based on the needs of their students is employing professionalism in their job.
There is no 'one correct or right' way to teach students. Each student comes with different needs, knowledge and prefered learning styles. The problem comes when educators insist on employing only 'one' strategy of instruction.
Some rote is definitely necessary. Lets face it we learned our first words by rote. Parents constantly repeating the word for momma or milk until we got it. We did not invent this word. However, in order to be considered literate we now are constantly inventing our speach to convey our thinking and ideas.
So it is with instruction in any field. The problem with Saxon is that it only teaches the Saxon way. (one specific delivery system) The problem with Math Their Way is that it only teaches the Math Their Way way (one specific delivery system). The problem with . . . fill in the blank.
Professionals need to be versed in 'multiple delivery methods and systems'. They need to make a diagnosis of which delivery system or method is cogent for the information or thinking that needs to be occuring at that time, and that will lead their students to deeper and deeper understandings.
The arguments about Whole Language, Calculators and Computers use, Saxon, the Standards etc., all have in common a complete lack of understanding regarding this point. All systems, materials and methods have limited value, "NONE" are capable of standing alone.
Everyone who employs diverse methods based on evaluation or diagnosis of what the student need are on the right track. Conversly everyone who pins all their hopes to a single star, belongs in a different profession;-) perhaps even in a different galaxy;-) (Just had to spice this up a bit)
# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # Eileen Abrahamson "All our knowledge has its origins Fourth Grade Teachers in our perceptions." Edw. Neill Elemetary Leonardo da Vinci Burnsville, MN E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org