The Real (CC)… Curiosity and Creativity

Part One

The CC Switch-a-roo.

CC has become the acronym for Common Core.  No more… !

Exchange the two Cs for Curiosity and Creativity… the REAL CC.

Curiosity and Creativity emphasizes the heart of inspiring and educating children.

The Common Core Standards are just that… Common.  No child is common. The standards streamline learning with claims of “rigor“, when what our children need most are learning environments in which they can learn at their individual developmental pace.  Because children grasp skills and concepts in different ways,  honoring each child’s learning style creates an atmosphere of “vigor“,  the essential nutrient needed most in their earliest years of learning.

The concerns with the common core include:

  1. Standardized Learning.  An attempt is made to box children into learning the same things at the same time at the same pace.
  2. Only that which can be measured is aspired to and made most important through high stakes testing.

Very limiting.

The landscape of learning is a much wider path.  Children traverse it when they are allowed to explore.  They like to see what is around the corner and over the hill.  Through the common core, we have compartmentalized their learning and are keeping them on straight and narrow roads.  Children are contained to only one road at a time.  They master a road, check (test), and then are allowed onto the next straight road.  Check (test).  And so forth.

What of traits like curiosity and creativity?  Are these measurable?  Do we consider these important attributes for our children?

Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish. He captures the following principles eloquently in his TED Talk: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.

  • Human beings are naturally DIFFERENT and DIVERSE.
  • If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance…. CURIOSITY is the engine of achievement.
  • Human life is inherently creative.   One of the roles of education is to awaken and develop these powers of CREATIVITY.

So often the standards are referred to as “rigorous”, but rigor is about death…  Education’s death valley.  Rather, the aim for our children needs to be “vigorous”… about thriving and growth, and vigor is about life.  In order to meet the goals of a society filled with thinkers, innovators, inventors, explorers, painters, historians, writers, mathematicians, adventurers, etc…  we can not lose sight of the valuable role curiosity and creativity play.

Reassuring children have vast opportunities to use their natural Curiosity and Creativity, the real CC, within the learning process, will enable each different and diverse child to flourish in the valley of life.

The Vigorous Curiosity and Creativity (CC) in Action

Fraction 3My 8 year old son has had no instruction in fractions. Through the use of concrete materials, he quickly figured out the value of each colored fractional piece.

Then I asked him if the black “candy bar” could be cut into 100 pieces? He instantly grabbed the pen and started to try to sketch the size of a hundredth. This stumped him for a bit.

He made it into 20 equal parts, then experimented with dividing the 20th into parts. After drawing the 4th line, he achieved success by dividing the bar up into 5 equal groups of 20.

After comparing fractions and examining the sizes of fractional values he was able to conclude, “The more pieces there are, the smaller the part.”

As he wrestled with each mathematical question I asked, he continued to request a progression of more difficult problems.

My questions had him hooked, and his natural curiosity had his engine revving.

Fraction 4      Fraction 5

By the end of the fraction expedition, he had begun making sense of the concept of equivalency by finding several ways to make 1/2. He made many connections with my intentional guidance.

Asking the right questions is the gateway to a child’s natural propensity for inquiry. Tapping into where a child is developmentally, utilizing multiple learning styles, and honoring their unique intelligences, are the keys to unlocking the door to new learning.

Curious children naturally learn.

The world is full of valleys, mountains, bridges and tunnels… Children are capable of paving paths unforeseen.

RIGORCrying Child 2 VS.

VIGOR

Fraction 1

Passionately Submitted,

RAZ ON FIRE

References: 

The full 25 minute fraction lesson linked here.

Definition of Rigor

Definition of Vigor

Rigor Belongs to Mortis… Not Our Children

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7 thoughts on “The Real (CC)… Curiosity and Creativity

  1. Hello! I tried posting this on your related blog post but it’s still awaiting moderation, so I’m trying again here.
    Hello! I was inspired by your ingenious twist on CC to Curiosity and Creativity, as well as your use of rigor vs. vigor, to develop a chart comparing the characteristics of each. This is just a draft, and I would appreciate your feedback. When it’s finalized I would like to distribute it in my state (RI). I would like to acknowledge that your original ideas sparked my thinking. Please let me know what you think. Sorry that the formatting didn’t work well when copying and pasting, but I think you can see what I mean. Thanks!

    “A Tale of Two Teaching Paradigms”
    CC (Common Core) CC (Curiosity/Creativity)

    Standardized input for all Varied input according to student interests and needs
    Rigor—death of imagination Vigor—nourishing of imagination
    Prescribed texts and scripted questions and answers/dead end learning Flexibility in curriculum, open ended questions and answers/exploration

    Produces disengaged youth Empowers engaged youth
    No space for student voice Encourages student voice
    Pushes out art, music, drama, phys. Ed Embraces art, music, drama, phys. Ed
    Competition Cooperation
    Demeans teachers’ professionalism Acknowledges teachers’ professionalism
    Goal of workforce training Goal of self-actualized participants in a rapidly changing world
    Overuse and misuse of mass administered standardized testing Diagnostic assessments to improve teaching methods to meet individual needs

    Intrusive data collection that parents cannot control, released to 3rd parties for “research” or marketing Data kept within the school for necessary educational purposes and not released to 3rd parties for “research” or marketing

    “personalization” via computer algorithms with adults to monitor performance

    Personalization from experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated human teachers who interact compassionately with students

    Putting children in front of computer screens/hand-held devices for more and more of their “learning” time Encouraging children to examine and explore the natural world and interact with each other and their communities
    Exposing children both in school and at home to potentially toxic levels of wifi radiation from hand-held devices Limiting screen time and using the new technologies in exciting and creative ways
    Molds students to become self-centered Opens students to empathize with others

    Which do you choose for your child? Stand up for your children’s right to an enriching public school education!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sheila! I am so glad your thinking was “sparked”… This is my purpose for my blog. To spark knowledge. To spark ideas. And to hold a torch for our children… and our teachers… and our public schools. I like your ideas of the comparison. Really powerful. I would love to see it in its formatting! I would be wonderful to post it on my blog too! I would honor you as a guest author… piggy backing on ideas is beautiful thinking! Thank you for taking the time to share with me. My email address is: (for now) razmathr118@yahoo.com

      My very best to you Sheila as you Crusade for our Children. Keep the Fire Burning!
      -Raz

      Like

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