I am cautiously optimistic of the Common Core standards, which is the newest experiment in the arena of school curriculum standards.
NYTimes “Trial Run for School Standards That Encourage Deeper Thought.”
The stated goal is “to go beyond reading lists” (emphasizing reading for meaning) “and math formulas to try to raise the bar not only on what students in every grade are expected to learn, but also on how teachers are expected to teach” gives prominence to the foundation for education. Students will be asked to read fiction and non-fiction and skills such as the ability to analyze and express ideas in a persuasive manner will be emphasized.
The Common Core standards have the potential to teach students the concept of making connections—knowing how to connect books, experiences and ideas. Reading is thinking and students today spend too much time on assignments that are busy work, which do not promote thinking. It appears that Common Core could put into practice the adage: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.” Involving students in what they read promotes understanding and thinking—both indispensable to best practices in education.