Rethinking Education written by Kathreen Harrison for the Bangor Daily News, is a must-read for policymakers of all sorts – including parents and community members as well as Boards and administrators! Her advice is pure gold….
“…Why promote Santa Claus and at the same time insist that young children recognize the impossibility of magical pebbles and talking animals? Children develop in stages, and it is a waste of time to work against the natural developmental grain. Curriculum should hug a child’s developmental stage rather than act like a bulldozer, trying to rush maturity. Like elephants, humans were formed to mature slowly. The Common Core rushes early childhood…”
“…School districts should look to the Common Core for guidance but should not adopt its standards hook, line, and sinker. In fact, school systems should be wary of adopting any one system, or set of ideas, however well intentioned, without selective, critically-based custom tailoring – be it Common Core, or the currently popular works of Marzano. Wholesale, unquestioning adoption of the latest new idea leads to the ridiculous merry go round of educational style in this country that prevents deliberate, revolutionary change from ever taking place in our schools.
With age and use the Common Core will probably improve and could well prove very valuable to creating better schools. At present, however, it should be treated as a draft guide awaiting revision after extensive testing in the field. Rule-bound districts that treat it as gospel will inevitably lose the educational race, while other more sophisticated districts continue to function as they always have, relying on the wisdom of talented, experienced educators, and using new, promising programs as handy tools to be tested cautiously until they prove tried and true….”
Read Kathreen Harrison’s wonderfully astute piece from the Bangor Daily News, here