Teacher Collaboration: The Essential Common-Core Ingredient
We ask a lot of our teachers and, as a nation, we're about to ask a lot more. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and math in almost every state, we are raising the bar on what students must master to be prepared in an increasingly competitive world. Gone are the days when states and districts could lower expectations, hide poor results, or create confusion about what students are capable of achieving.
But the real challenge is for teachers, not policymakers: The new standards emphasize teaching fewer topics, but in greater depth, and focusing more on hands-on learning and dynamic student projects than traditional lectures. If students are to be successful, teachers must also encourage innovative assignments that require students to show their understanding, use their knowledge and skills to solve problems, create written and multimedia presentations, and complete real-world tasks.
The common core means that teachers must shift their practice and teach more advanced materials to their students in more successful ways. How can we accomplish such a substantial change in classroom instruction in thousands of schools and tens of thousands of classrooms, and with millions of students with differing abilities, interests, and life goals? We believe the answer lies in two key strategies: greater teacher collaboration and better instructional...
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