By Sam Piha
“If you don't find a way to make learning matter to students then much of what the adults are trying to do in school reform, will fail.” – Pedro Noguera, NYU
COMMON CORE STANDARDS: The Common Core Standards were developed by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They have been adopted by 46 states, and focus on “fewer standards at a deeper level than do many of the models used in the past. The standards also emphasize higher order thinking skills; that is, they focus more on demonstrating understanding of content and analyzing written materials rather than on memorizing specific content.” Many of those working to draw a link between learning outside of the classroom point to the Habits of Mind, which focus on “knowledge, skills, and dispositions that operate in tandem with the academic content in the standards… and offer a portrait of students who, upon graduation, are prepared for college, career, and citizenship.”
EXTENDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES (ELO): There is a growing call for schools to offer or link to extended learning opportunities for young people. For some, this movement represents lengthening the school day and increasing time on task or seat time. We join the many others who believe that we must be creative and flexible in our teaching methods in order to increase engagement and draw on community organizations and resources outside of school to fulfill any promise of ELO.