Thursday, May 09, 2013

Goal of common core math standards: teach less, but teach it in greater depth

American students tend to graduate from high school with less understanding of math than other students, even though they may have covered a huge curriculum. So much information is crammed into their heads so quickly that they can't develop a deep understanding of math.

The common core math standards discussed in this video make a lot of sense. The message of the developers is "Teach less, learn more." Currently far too many teachers think that "higher standards" means getting as far as possible through the curriculum. Experts note that this approach leaves kids with less understanding than if the teachers had gone into greater depth regarding fewer concepts.

Neal McCluskey argues at the end of the video that there should be more leeway in standards so teachers can tailor their approaches to suit individual students. But taking individual students into account is simply common sense, and teachers shouldn't need to be told to do this. They should be able to teach a concept to faster and slower students at the same time. It's good for advanced students to deepen their understanding of basic concepts at the same time that their fellow students might be grasping the concept for the first time. Teachers can do this by simply asking the faster students more difficult questions on the same topic.

Click below to see video:
Neal McCluskey discusses common standards on The Teaching Channel--Video
August 29, 2012

No comments: