An Observatoin of Sorts V

100619_142322_0.pngAn Observation of Sorts V -

So this series entitled "An Observation of Sorts" has been based  entirely on the point of getting to this particular blog posting.

I chose the issues of weights and measurements and temperature to investigate the relationship between standards and how those standards are implemented because weights and measurements and temperature are physical realities. We know them, we use them, we touch them every day.

And yet with these most simple of standards, we seem unable to describe a single value for the standard and then to implement that single value. We seem disenabled when it comes to teaching that single value, and teaching it in such a way as to make the learning easy for students, consistent for students, practical for students.  Instead it seems we create a morass of confusion in a relativistic universe, a teaching situation in which we expect the student to do all of the changing and then adapt to multiple systems, all simultaneously.

In a more esoteric realm, the Common Core presents a similar conundrum. The standards are present, they have been well researched, they are developmentally appropriate to children, they are in fact good standards. On the other hand we have spent so little time in discussing with each other how those standards are to be implemented that we have now created the same confusing morass of what it is that we expect students to do, but more importantly we have created a morass about what we expect teachers to teach.

Believe me, I am in full support as to the definition of standards, and I am not opposed to the creation of the Common Core. However, I am very opposed to the idea and practice that anyone can set a standard without setting the path to achieve it.  Perhaps this is like bushwhacking up a mountain. We do not know where we are going except for the summit, and we have no methodology to get there except by tearing through the undergrowth.

Perhaps there is a title for a new book by looking into that metaphor. Perhaps that title should be "Bushwhacking Education." If that were so, the title aptly sums up the notion that American education is besieged by lack of clear direction though it knows the destination.  And ultimately is it responsible of leaders to engage in experiments with children in education, experiments that may determine their future, experiments that have yet to be piloted or tested?  Is this in fact blind bushwhacking?

Too many districts are locked into the confines of their own silos. They can see only the outer walls of a very narrow circumference. Somehow it is like being forced to live entirely within a paper box, a rigid paper box.  If we could really engage in collaboration, that collaboration's first task would include communication about the implementation strategies of the Common Core.

If we were to approach this challenge, because it is a challenge, with the idea of collaborative teamwork and shared resources, we could learn that success is easily attained when we work in teams because "there is no I in team."

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