Well, twelve years into the 21st century, we have to step up. Everything is on the table and the possibilities for learning are limitless. We can meet the needs of all learners. With the integration of technology, the possibilities for differentiation is infinite.
The Common Core Standards strive to accelerate and help this process. It encourages teachers to step aside and let students be in charge of their own learning. Teachers are still essential, but now they are facilitators of student learning. Teachers must talk less, listen more and return the classroom to being student-centered. The classroom is a hub of various activities.
There are a lot of facets about this concept that scare teachers. First, one has to let go of total control. There is bound to be some activity and talking in the classroom with the excitement of these engaging learning tools. In addition, there is a lack of familiarity with the technology – going into a totally new world. The internet and its possibilities frightens people. The good is not always seen, just the negative. There is a lot to do and a lot learn. It will take more time. (It won’t, but you have to learn and explore). I have to give up my favorite lessons. (You don’t-they will be easily adapted). I may miss something. Can I stop talking so much?
The truth is that having some uniform standards and as a result, assessments, will be very positive. If you attend high school in Kansas and go to college in Pennsylvania, you will know what you need to know. There will be a level playing field. Money on curriculum development and materials and assessments will be better spent as it will be available to everyone. This practice will save huge dollars which can be put into the wonderful development of the facilitators in the classroom — THE TEACHERS.
Interesting comments from Education Week Teacher:
“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt