Is Common Core a Step in the Right Direction?
Every Child Left Behind
As cliche as it sounds, "the children are the future" of America. This is why education must be a top priority among policy makers. As Americans, we understand the intrinsic value of education and the role that it plays in ones life. The way to better our country is to invest into a good and stable education system that will foster the mental development of children.
Many educational experts will tell you that the problem in America is
the standardization of the educational process. Sir Ken Robinson,
explains in a TED Talks that the education system in America is inherently flawed because it does not foster the divergent interests of children. It is a very narrow system, that produces a similar end product every time. In American schools, the maths and sciences are given a special immportance.
It all comes down to how we define success in our minds. When we think of a successful person, a distinct image pops into our heads. We either think of doctors, lawyers, bussinessmen, or engineers. Success in our country has a very narrow definition, and this definition of success has promoted a singletrack education system: one that strictly promotes maths and sciences. This is why we make kids take standardized tests. We are trying to promote one way of thinking in our education system and neglecting other ways of thought can be detrimental for the future of our country.
In our country the humanities are looked at as something that is extra, someting that is unnecessary to the process of education. When there are budget cuts, these programs will be the first to be cut from schools. Something that is often overlooked is the importance of these programs in schools, and their impact on the development of a child. The humanities foster creative thinking, and critical problem solving skills that the maths and sciences just can't provide for a developing child. In our education system, the humanities are completely neglected. If kids don't do well in school, they are automatically assumed to be failures in life. This crippling mindset comes once again from how we define success.
Because we stress the maths and sciences so much, kids that don't think the same way are being undermined. Ofcourse maths and sciences give us the capacity to think logically and understand the world around us, but in the process we have not given the humanities the attention that it deserves. Creativity is not being appreciated as much as it should be. This is problematic for a variety of reasons. Creative indiviuals are the ones that see things in a different way. They are the innovators of the future. They are the problemsolvers that this society is lacking. Our education system kills this creativity by making brilliant, creative children feel like they do not have the intelligence to be successful. This is why standardization of our education system is so detrimental to students.
Common Core is a system that sets standards for mathematics and the language arts nation wide. It is hard to say yet the ramifications that this system will have on the development of students however at first glance it seems to have some upsides and some downsides to it. Although it is further standardizing the system we already have in place, some aspects seem to stress creativity and critical thinking. Even in math class, the students are made to write essays and think critically about math problems. I think that in this aspect this is a beneficial system, however only time will tell the true benefits of such a system.