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:
- Standardized Learning. An attempt is made to box children into learning the same things at the same time at the same pace.
- Only that which can be measured is aspired to and made most important through high stakes testing.
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
My 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.
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.
RAZ ON FIRE
The full 25 minute fraction lesson linked here.
Definition of Rigor
Definition of Vigor
Rigor Belongs to Mortis… Not Our Children