Sunday, May 04, 2014


This interesting paper Six reasons to reject the Common Core for grades K-3 should be read by every American educator and by every parent. What the common core policy makers did was decide what they wanted high school graduates to know and then built a set of steps and expectations downward from there, without really understanding the principles of child development.

An example of stupidity with regards to reading is as follows. In Finland, students begin reading at an age equivalent to our 3rd grade. By the time their students and our students are tested in the PISA study at age 15, their students far surpass our students in reading in 30 percent less time. Do the math. By the time Finnish kids have reached the age 15, they've been taught reading in school for 7 years. Our own students have been under pressure to read for 10, and it's not working for us.

Children can learn much more from their play and self-directed activity than they do when forced to sit still in classrooms. Let a child's curiosity catch fire when they've fallen into a love affair with reading, and exacting stair steps from high school to pre-school are not required. Introduce reading at the right time, when the child is most developmentally prepared for it, and we will be less likely to have children hate reading and despise schooling.

Forty-four of 50 states made the decision to adopt common core standards without consulting leading authorities in early childhood development.

This is May Fine Arts month in Eureka Springs, and there are gallery openings and exhibits happening all over town. In addition to finishing my school year at Clear Spring, I am preparing for the White St. Art Walk on May 16, even though I will be out of town to attend the Weekend With Wood Magazine in Des Moines on that day.  At Weekend with Wood, I'll teach box making, box design and woodworking with kids.

Schooling throughout the US fails to take into consideration how we learn  best. When we learn hands-on, by doing real things, we learn more quickly, more thoroughly and to greatest lasting effect. This same thing applies to teaching, and we are due for a revolution in teacher education. That revolution would put aspiring teachers directly into the classroom concurrent with them being mentored in classroom management and instructed in the history and methodology of education.

The photo above is of an early Kindergarten in Kansas, 1893. Topeka Kansas had a large influx of former slaves following the Civil War, and one of the means used by area churches to acculturate new families was through establishing a kindergarten and mothers meetings like in the photo in yesterday's  post.

Make, fix and create...

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