If Common Core Standards become our straight jacket, we’ll hate what education becomes #ccchat

A sad teacher last night talked to me about how she's having to cut out two great units of study. One unit is on China and another is on Egypt. Why? They aren't in the Common Core standards.

My students aren't wearing straight jackets,
they have wings. And that, my friends
makes all the difference.
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Savvy schools will know that Common Core standards are guidelines. Struggling schools will interpret Common Core standards as straight jackets. Already demoralized, they are afraid to do ANYTHING not in the standards. There's the problem.

Global competency is vital part of being an educated 21st century citizen.

Two kinds of people exist today: people who build bridges and people who blow them up. Kids must be global citizens capable of building bridges.

Even if you are under Common Core standards, I hope you have the maturity to see them as guidelines. The Common Core FAQ says:

“Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.”

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Use your head when evaluating curriculum. Just because it doesn't specifically say “Egypt” or “China” doesn't mean you have to cut those from your curriculum. You can incorporate standards into such studies.

Most straight jackets worn in education are fabrications of the mind.

While some are wearing straight jackets, my students are collaborating globally. They aren't wearing straight jackets, they have wings. And that, my friends will make all the difference.

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Further Reading:
ASCD Educational Leadership. Leading for Global Competency
Common Core State Standards Frequently Asked Questions
Curriculum 21 Global Partnership: Investigate the World
Edutopia Parents Guide to 21st Century Learning (PDF)
Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (disclosure, I coauthored this book)
Asia Society: What is global competence?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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