Teachers should set teaching content

Teachers wail that the Common Core State Standards don’t tell them what to teach.

And they are right.

The Common Core State Standards are educational objectives: they specify what students have to be able to do with knowledge, not what specific facts they need.

The business of deciding what information students need to know to get to the objective is a job for professionals.

That means it’s a job for teachers.

Teachers need to figure out the minimum information they must teach to enable students to do higher level learning. The authors of A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing (the revised Bloom’s taxonomy) stress that students can learn complex processes without first memorizing the terminology experts use to discuss those processes.

It’s perfectly fine for students to talk about this thing and that thing until they learn how this thing and that thing work together to make the rocket go up.

If Josh and Caitlin want to go into STEM fields and build rockets, they’ll have to learn the terms that people in STEM fields use for this thing and that thing. But they do not need to memorize those terms in elementary school to enable them to learn what makes a rocket soar.

Don’t leave the work of deciding what information students need to know to bureaucrats.

It’s a job for teaching professionals.

Are you professional enough to do it?

[Link to material no longer available removed 04-03-2014.]

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