Monday, December 10, 2012

Common Core Teacher Needs

Nice article from Vicki Phillips and Robert Hughes in EdWeek - "Teacher Collaboration: The Essential Common-Core Ingredient" that focuses on teachers. It is time to stop the focus on policymakers and start helping educators figure out how to bring the standards to the classroom.

"The new standards emphasize teaching fewer topics, but in greater depth, and focusing more on hands-on learning and dynamic student projects than traditional lectures. If students are to be successful, teachers must also encourage innovative assignments that require students to show their understanding, use their knowledge and skills to solve problems, create written and multimedia presentations, and complete real-world tasks."

We are spending all our time at the National Math and Science Initiative focused on bringing college readiness to students - and right now, that means creating common core training and resources for teachers. All our programs are developed by teachers, for teachers which is what Phillips and Hughes recommend:

"When engaging in inquiry or lesson study, teachers draw on their shared trust, expertise, and experiences to improve instruction. And when this collaboration focuses on student work, it builds educators' capacity to address students' academic needs immediately."

Collaboration is the key which is why we are working with the PARCC Educator Leader Cadre to build expertise in each state to encourage and foster that collaboration. 

Common Core State Standards only succeed if we all succeed in providing