I talked about the amount of curriculum that there is to cover in Common Core in my earlier writing, Part1. Touching back a bit on #2, I wanted to say a bit more on the frustration I see everyday with students and their current homework. Math has become very complicated, and many of the questions have 2 and 3 part answers to the question. Algebra is introduced in 4th grade. Many parents have gotten tutors for their children which is great, but what of the parents who can't afford that? I also worry for the students and the increased stress that is put on them with their studies which they do not understand. I had many 4th graders last year in tears as the year before they were A students in math and then when Common Core arrived they were D students and were very distraught over this situation. Is it practical in our world to teach 3 and 4th graders 5 or 6 ways to do a math problem. Isn't time better spent elsewhere in their studies? To make matters worse, parents were taught another type of math and feel equally frustrated that they can't help their children more. I had a comment from a mother on Friday talking about how much she needs to help her son with his homework, just to keep it up. He is a 6th grader. Food for Thought!
#3 In today's curriculum, we have another big change in the style of teaching. It used to be that teaching involved interaction between the students and the teacher. Learning was a two way communication with work done on the board and done a few times until the student grasped the concept. Today's teaching concept is called Lecture Mode. What does this term mean?
Lecture Mode is the teacher lightly talking to the student's about the lesson, assigning homework, and then offering feedback on the student's performance. Little is done to insure that the concepts are understood, partly because time does not allow for more work on a single lesson, due to the large curriculum which needs to be delivered. It is a one way learning method. Think back when you learned something. Did you master it the first time that you were shown it? Take cooking for example, if you are given a recipe and the list of ingredients to make cookies, do you know how to make the cookies without maybe someone standing with you to help you understand and practice with you? I am the kind of person who likes to see something done a couple of times and have the instructions. That way I feel I can master that skill. I was fortunate enough to teach at a private school where we were very handson with everything. I was the cooking teacher and when we cooked, all the students got to help. They cracked eggs, measured spices, boiled water, and also helped with the cleanup. Very handson. We taught many practical subjects like cooking and cleaning. The students all had point boards to keep track of their weekly production and were rewarded each week if they got a lot done. The students were very happy and very responsible for their own studies.
Well, hope this information helps educate a bit on the changes in the school curriculums. I am happy to answer any questions or concerns. My goal is to help the future generation be the best they can be, in regards to education, health and personal self confidence. Please email me or comment me if wanted.