powerful moments in education
*cover strawberry core image by: millionaire via deviantart, licensed by Creative Commons
My desire to independently explore the meaning of the Common Core State Standard Initiative has led me through a maze of documents and articles. The questions I keep burning in my mind are: How can this be different than past initiatives? What are the core themes of CCSS and are they relevant to the crucial classroom-real world connection? Why have past initiatives been seemingly unsuccessful and how can this be avoided now?
My discoveries? This is a call for a new way of teaching, though many educators already convey a pedagogy rich in these active skills. It’s a call for instructional leadership and collaboration in schools rather than simply instructional evaluation. It’s a call to break away from dictating information and immerse oneself in the actual learning process. I truly believe that if schools take CCSS as a new list of material to master and be tested upon, it will fail. It needs to bring on a movement of bringing skills and learning to life in schools, connecting learning to the outside world, and to mastering content along the way. In order to achieve this, teachers need to guide students carefully through Bloom’s Taxonomy, understand and implement relevant arts integration, technology integration, and connect students to process.
The CCSS are not simply about the “what”- but the “how”. Schools with strong leadership who create the time and space for educators to collaborate and receive training on the HOW will be the most successful. It’s as simple as that.