Friday, May 9, 2014

The Common Core

On Monday of this week, I presented a project with a group at a student conference for my EDL 318 (Teacher Leadership and School Organization) class.

This conference was a chance for my group, and other groups, to present our curriculum projects in front of other students and professors. After each of the presentations, there were question and answer sessions, which were beneficial in terms of feedback.
Photo I took of the program that was used at the Conference.

For our project, my group decided to tackle a rather difficult subject. We chose to base our curriculum around the Common Core, and we aimed our program at teachers. Our curriculum was titled “The Not-So Common Core.”

The Common Core, in short, is a set of standards that outline what students should graduate from high school knowing. As of right now, 44 states have implemented these standards, so they are something that nearly all teachers need to manage. One primary goal of the Common Core is to create consistency across state lines.

For our project, we decided to take a positive standpoint on the implementation of these standards and point out all the ways that these standards can be used to the advantage of both teachers and students.

In our research, we found that there are quite a few misconceptions circulating around the Common Core, and it was our goal to turn these misconceptions upside down and expose the truth about the Common Core.

When my group was discussing this project, we realized that the positive aspects of the Common Core are often overlooked. Going along with this, we believe that teachers around the United States need to start looking at these positives.

The Common Core is not a limitation to teachers, as it is more of a guide. The standards can be adapted for use in every classroom and should be used to fit the needs of the students. By utilizing the Common Core, teachers don’t lose control over their classrooms as the standards don’t state how teachers have to teach.

Furthermore, the standards are not intended to work alone. Teachers should combine multiple standards for a lesson. In a way, the standards are the learning objectives for a lesson and these can even be shared with students.

The most important aspect to remember when thinking about the implementation of the Common Core, is that it is not a restriction of teaching. Teachers still have the ability to be creative within the confines of the standards.

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