OK, i'll talk to MYSELF here!
<P>ADVANTAGES:<P>all the work's done FOR you! and it's done by experts who spend their lives focusing on all the important issues in compiling syllabi!<P>outside assessors/examiners give you objective feedback. internationally-accepted standards, validated by those roving examiners. <P>structure is all set up for you: books, notes, tapes, CDs, uniform, deadlines for completion & assessment, marking criteria, certificates, reports, etc.....<P>visiting examiners' feedback informs YOUR teaching practice, as well as giving info to STUDENTS (i.e. the students' results and reports imply, or even directly suggest, what YOU are doing well, and not so well...)<P>SOME DISADVANTAGES:<P>loss of freedom to teach as you see fit<P>imposition of outside deadlines, uniforms, criteria and standards<P>cost!!! i.e. society membership which is pricey, and must be kept up-to-date. cost of exams entries, uniforms, etc.<P>if poorly chosen, with regard to your student population, the syllabus may be innappropriate to YOUR students' needs (trina has touched on this issue of cloning a syllabus onto a student population..)<P>i taught in one new school which didn't start out with a set syllabus: we were doing just fine, having a happy time, doing our best: two teachers with strong backgrounds of professional experience and teaching knowledge......then after about two years we introduced a syllabus from a recognised teaching organisation.<P>we were both 'blown away' by the staggering amount of improvement the students were capable of, when we were 'requiring' them to extend themselves, MORE than we had chosen to ask of them...we HAD been teaching closer to their 'comfort levels' (!) extending them a little, but not 'too much'. <P>once WE had to meet a deadline for their scheduled exam, we simply HAD to 'force' them along...and that IS what it felt like: it felt like a bit of an uncomfortable and demanding fit, at times...but in doing it, we discovered how we had lowered our expectations of them -probably in line with the relatively ungenerous amounts of effort they were inclined to put out, being kids....and while THEY were comfortable, they were not achieveing as they COULD do..... which meant, neither were WE!<P>a valuable lesson learned...<P>