Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Quest to the Core

For some time now I have been reflecting upon the system of education, and wondering to myself, "Is this truly visible?" The standards for learning are written down to promote education, and the ability for students to ascertain this information in the best way possible. Sadly though what I have noticed is that this thought process has been either totally blown out of proportion, or only half followed. This is especially so in the realm of English-language arts and mathematics. Our countries lack in ability within these areas have caused many districts to focus all of their attention upon these subjects, and abandon others, especially Physical Education! The problem though is not the lack in attention, but the way in which these subjects are presented to the students. Now this thought came to my head quite recently after observing different schools, and the way in which students are taught. The saddening part though is that this very same problem was addressed to the nation over a year ago. So it seems as though some areas still have yet to fully understand these implications. 
The "Common Core" was developed to try and put an end to the "Do more, Learn More" mentality, and instead focus on "Do Less, Learn More." This means, do not overwhelm the students with subject matter, but instead simplify the curriculum and focus more upon each unit of that curriculum. In math many students are made to memorize numbers, and answers to problems. How does memorization lead to application during a real world problem? The answer is it does not. What students must know is the simple process of the subject at hand. If students know the process that is performed in order to obtain an answer they can solve any problem, even if they have never seen those numbers in their entire life. This is a simple idea that is easily overlooked.
Within the area of English the Common Core is trying to focus on information that not only enhances the students ability to succeed in college, but also the enhancement of other subject areas like social studies, and science. They are making it mandatory that fifty percent of text read in the K-5 curriculum should be information based. This I find to be so beneficial, because it allows for the alignment of the curriculum within the whole school.
The Common Core standards I feel will cause a great change with the way in which students are taught for the positive. I hope soon that this way of teaching will be shown to all, and implemented in the correct manner.
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