A “False Start”?

I just read this article in Education Week’s Learning Forward, PD Watch.

In it, Joellen Killion, Senior Advisor for Learning Forward, argues that unpacking the standards (“deconstructing“) was not the correct place for educators and schools to begin implementing the CCSS:

For many teachers, the professional learning focus on implementing the Common Core began at an unnecessary point. Rather than spending months or even a year unpacking the standards, teachers must engage in applying the standards in their classrooms and schools.

I have to say that I completely disagree with Killion in this statement.  Her article goes on to say actual implementation of the standards happens when educators practice the shifts of pedagogy and content.  She mentions two articles that offer varying views on best practices for implementation, but says:

Each expresses some concern that the professional learning community model rarely embeds deep learning about content, pedagogy, and PCK.

At this point, I have been involved in several common core training sessions and many, many deconstruction conversations.  I would contend that without these conversations, and without having spent the time I have spent elbows-deep in the language of the new standards, I, as an educator, would have no idea how to begin implementing the pedagogical and content-based shifts of the CCSS.  How can a teacher enact a new paradigm without the understanding of said paradigm?  How does one envision a CCSS-based lesson without having a deep understanding of the learning objective.

I’m not sure I follow this article.


3 thoughts on “A “False Start”?

  1. The first and most wasted efforts in the implementation of the CCSS for many states was the ” crosswalk” between previos standards and the “new” standards. A similar waste of time in schools has been the “mapping” of curriculum. Both efforts, though well-intentioned, merely postpone what must be done–close reading of adopted standards that includes analysis or targeting of embedded skills and knowledge. I so agree with you, Christina, that teachers need to deconstruct the standards before they can teach to them. But most importantly, the MUST begin by reading the standards with a lens for the future and not blinders towards the past.


    • You know, I hadn’t thought about the crosswalks, but now that I think about it, how effective are they in doing what they were designed to do? I, myself, have looked through them a couple of times here and there, usually in reference to only a specific standard statement, but the majority of teachers do not and will not use them because they don’t see the purpose. I think the key to understanding them is doing the work, but in the case of the crosswalks (a top-down effort–as is mapping in a school), when the work is simply handed over, teachers seem less likely to find value in it.


  2. Pingback: A “False Start”? | Common Core Online | Scoop.it

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