[Bilde:100619_142322_0.png]An 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
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
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