Judy Seltz, ASCD's new executive director, outlines her plans for the association and her vision for education in a wide-ranging interview with Education Week blogger Peter Dewitt. In the process, Seltz details some of the association's policy priorities and recent successes. Read on for highlights from the interview.
Post written by Kerry Dunne and Christopher Martell
Recent national media attention on attempts by school districts to fold history and social studies into broader humanities programs has brought attention to the role of history education in today schools.
This begs the question: Is the study of history and the social studies a critical part of a 21st century education? In the age of a Common Core State Standards curriculum dominated by literacy and numeracy, will it survive as a core school subject? We argue that high-quality teaching and learning in history, geography, economics, and civics matter more than ever for today's American students and for the future of the country.
The Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards have drawn new attention to how these skills are developed across curriculum and across grade bands. In their 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session, "Collaborative Conversations: Meeting Anchor Standard 1 in Speaking and Listening," authors Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher were enthusiastic about the potential within these curricular shifts. "Our world will be different when adolescents are prepared for and participating in collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others' ideas, and expressing their own clearly and persuasively," noted Fisher.
Consider how your classroom has changed since 2010, asked Frey. She related that, in her own practice, the word "evidence" never appeared on a language chart used in her classroom. "It just wasn't on our radar." Now, kids are supporting their opinions with evidence in classroom discussions.
Although most states plan to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during the 2014–15 school year, many questions remain about what the standards are, how they were created, and how they will influence students' and teachers' daily work. The current issue of ASCD Policy Points (PDF) outlines basic facts about the standards that you can use not only for your own background knowledge, but also to inform your discussions with your colleagues, community members (including parents), and local policymakers.
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers what the primary use of digital games is in their classrooms.
Most of us know the story by now. Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was recently caught making inflammatory racial comments that stoked the cinders of hatred, burning through the NBA and creating a firestorm in the media and the nation.
When I heard about this story, I recoiled and surged with anger. And then, as a middle school teacher and administrator, I looked for the lessons. What could we learn from Mr. Sterling? What could we learn from the team? How could this experience inform middle level education as we reach and teach young adolescents who are creating their tomorrows today?
Post written by Sarah Carlson, Deni Basaraba, Gina Biancarosa, and Lina Shanley
When most people think about reading in science, they think of heavy and densely written texts—the kind you find in science textbooks. Although textbooks remain a staple of science education, they—along with laboratory notes and scholarly reports—are notably lacking from the exemplar science texts referenced in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Rather, the Common Core exemplars include excerpts from articles in popular science magazines, manuals, procedural texts, and (at the high school level) primary-source documents (for example, an excerpt from a translation of Euclid's Elements).
The long-term benefits of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been touted by the academic community at large, yet it's often difficult to envision the light at the end of the tunnel when dealing with the demands and challenges of actual classroom implementation. Although these standards make it clear what is expected of students, many teachers are left without a road map explaining how to approach and properly convey this new material in the classroom.