The economy is more competitive than ever before. With the added pressure of “preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist” (“Did You Know” 2012) education reform is looking to the Common Core State Standards. The purpose of education is to teach students to communicate, make connections, contribute and be a part of both local and global communities. As an art teacher and adviser it is with urgency that we reevaluate and get on board with preparing our students with the tools and strategies they need to be able to compete. As the Partnership for 21st Century Skills states, not only do our students need standards based instruction in the “3Rs: English, reading or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics; government; economics; arts; history; and geography. Our students also need the the 4Cs: critical thinking and problem solving; communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation. The 3Rs serve as an umbrella for other subjects and core content, the 4Cs are a shorthand for all the skills needed for success in college, career, and life.”
As job markets serve customers worldwide, they cast a larger net for the growing demand. John McWade from the Design Talk stated in regards to design jobs going overseas “Global is the new local”. He also continues to point out that “There is a lot of design talent beyond our borders — educated, clear thinking, visionary, with great enthusiasm and a tremendous work ethic. To us insular Americans, this may be shocking. Get unshocked, and get ready to play. It’s a good thing. Technology has erased borders and barriers. Anyone can now connect with anyone, anywhere. Result: We all compete globally, and our high American lifestyle has us at a disadvantage.”
We are seeing the results of the globalization of the economy and a flexible skill-set is another one of those skills that students need to master in order to be able to move from one job to another because having many jobs in a span of 10 years becoming the norm. In John Dewey’s My Pedagogical Creed (1897) he states, “…it is impossible to prepare the child for any precise set of conditions. To prepare him for the future life means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities”
The language of the Common Core outlines the coincides with the goals of the 21st Century Skills and they are in accordance with preparing students for future careers and life. According to The Common Core State Standards Initiative in English Language Arts (2014), “To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems…”
With any initiative preparation, training, and time is key. Concerns with teacher preparation and assessment under the No Child Left Behind cloud presents many obstacles. How does assessments impact teacher that are not ELA or Math and how do you address english language learners and students with disabilities? As Diane Ravich states in opposition of the CCSS assessments “they will cause a precipitous decline in test scores, based on arbitrary cut scores, and this will have a disparate impact on students who are English language learners, students with disabilities, and students whoare poor and low-performing.”
Teachers do not have the lack of motivation. Teachers need the training that will continue to prepare students. Many teachers that I come across feel not prepared enough. The Common Core Standards can be the means for the preparation but teachers are struggling and impacted with the additional initiatives and demands coming from their districts. As an arts teacher I have found connections to ELA in the CCSS. Speaking and Listening and Reading because our standards are embedded with analysis and responding to artwork. Artwork is used as text and students can easily make judgments about what is seen and refer back to the artwork to cite evidence. Although I found connections, more training is needed for me to be confident with my application. Literacy and numeracy are taught in all content areas, but the arts, social sciences, and sciences need to be able to access strategies to serve their students as well.
I support the Common Core but time is of the essence. Time is needed for proper implementation of the standards and assessments, training, and re evaluation of the standards by teachers.
|ASCD Blog Click on image for image credit|
- Video: "Did you Know" (2012)
- Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2014)
- Design Talk
- John Dewey’s My Pedagogical Creed (1897)
- The Common Core State Standards Initiative in English Language Arts (2014)
- Diane Ravich's Blog (2013)
Wordl 1st image link
Common Corezilla link