This looks to be an application of Whole Brain Teaching, sometimes called Power Teaching, a technique that seems to be the brain child of Chris Biffle. Biffle is no slacker; he's published an assortment of books with legit publishers, and his Whole Brain empire boasts a pretty well-developed website. And for the leader of a teaching movement that has been in action since 1999, Biffle keeps a remarkably low profile. It appears that he was a professor at Crafton Hills College, a community college in Yucaipa, CA, and it was there that he teamed up with an elementary and secondary teacher to create Whole Brain Teaching, which has grown pretty much on its own.
So there's not much that seems shady about WBT. Some sources suggest that Biffle has mis-stated his resume, but if the man's goal was to become rich and famous, he doesn't appear to be doing a very good job of achieving it.
The stated goal of WBT was to put some organized fun in the classroom. And I could try describing how Power Teaching is supposed to work, but it will be more effective to dip into the extensive youtube library of power teaching examples
As you can see, Biffle himself is kind of an avuncular and unthreatening, so the overall effect is kind of like a Hitler Youth meeting run by Fred Rogers. Some of the groupiness aspects are recognizable to anyone who was ever in band, choir, or the armed forces. And I have to tell you-- given the youtube and on-line testimonials, and WBT's persistence over fifteen years, there are people out there who love this. I can see the appeal if you are in a school mired in endless chaos, or if you've always struggled with classroom management, or if you're Dolores Umbridge.
All that aside, it is creepy as hell. Set your individuality aside, become part of the group, do as you're told, sit up, lie down, roll over , speak (but only as directed). Just imagine what this would look like with someone more stern, more authoritarian, more Hitlerish, in front of the classroom. If you can handle it, you can find sample lessons all the way down to Kindergartners.
But in a funny twist, per Ravitch's post this morning, it turns out that Biffle was a man ahead of his time, because what Nashville Prep and others have discovered is that WBT is great for test prep. It turns out that subsuming your individuality, spitting out dictated exact answers on demand, and generally being a good little all-fit-one-size widget is excellent training for taking standardized tests.
So if you find this little mini-re-enactment of the Cultural Revolution unappealing, the bad news is that this is exactly what high stake standardized testing call for.