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Friday, May 03, 2013

If Common Core Standards become our straight jacket, we'll hate what education becomes #ccchat



A sad teacher last night talked to me about how she's having to cut out two great units of study. One unit is on China and another is on Egypt. Why? They aren't in the Common Core standards.
My students aren't wearing straight jackets,
they have wings. And that, my friends
makes all the difference.
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Savvy schools will know that Common Core standards are guidelines. Struggling schools will interpret Common Core standards as straight jackets. Already demoralized, they are afraid to do ANYTHING not in the standards. There's the problem.

Global competency is vital part of being an educated 21st century citizen.



Two kinds of people exist today: people who build bridges and people who blow them up. Kids must be global citizens capable of building bridges.

Even if you are under Common Core standards, I hope you have the maturity to see them as guidelines. The Common Core FAQ says:

"Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms."
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Use your head when evaluating curriculum. Just because it doesn't specifically say "Egypt" or "China" doesn't mean you have to cut those from your curriculum. You can incorporate standards into such studies.

Most straight jackets worn in education are fabrications of the mind.

While some are wearing straight jackets, my students are collaborating globally. They aren't wearing straight jackets, they have wings. And that, my friends will make all the difference.






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Further Reading:
ASCD Educational Leadership. Leading for Global Competency
Common Core State Standards Frequently Asked Questions
Curriculum 21 Global Partnership: Investigate the World
Edutopia Parents Guide to 21st Century Learning (PDF)
Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (disclosure, I coauthored this book)
Asia Society: What is global competence?
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