To the Editor:
Both the Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 2012, issues of Education Week carried pieces with important implications for curriculum and, in particular, the role of cognitive education. A Commentary on Feb. 1, “The Common-Core Contradiction” by Stephanie Hirsh, underlined the importance of teachers’ integrating critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and inquiry; and a Feb. 8 article, “Common Core’s Focus on ‘Close Reading’ Stirs Worries,” referred to the “close reading” approach, in which students probe structures and seek deeper understanding.
In both instances, the case seems clearly made now for reintroducing into the curriculum a systematic and explicit focus on cognitive strategies, which will then be transferable across all subject matter. But without a focused and explicit approach, based on in-depth professional development for teachers, these recommendations will end up being honored only superficially.
Let us move now to consideration of cognitive curricula that meet these criteria and embark on the needed professional development to implement them widely in this country; many other countries are already carrying out this integration.
David S. Martin
North American Feuerstein Alliance
Marstons Mills, Mass.
A version of this article appeared in the February 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as Next Steps for Cognitive Education