Focus on Teaching the Student

As I continue to read the news about states exiting the Common Core standards to reclaim standard-setting autonomy, I am reminded of a quote from a participant from our SSHRC study on literacy teacher educators:

“You’re teaching the student. You’re not teaching the curriculum. The student should be in the middle and to try to stretch the curriculum to fit around that.” (Melissa)

 The Common Core Standards are national U.S. standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics grades K-12. The implementation of these standards began in 2011. However, in the past few months three states have formally withdrawn from the Common Core Standards (Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina). Recently, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana made public that he was also looking to formally withdraw from the Common Core Standards.

This turbulent time in the implementation of national standards reminds me of the stance several of our literacy teacher educators had on teaching directly to national mandates.  Several had lived through many curricula, and so tended to veer away from explicitly teaching the curriculum. Rather, they emphasized with their student teachers that the focus should always be on the student.

Below is a chart summarizing U.S. resisting the implementation of the Common Core:



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