Summary of the main points discussed in the article
The author of this article looks at the debate surrounding the US common core curriculum about the common core curriculum standards. The author narrates the concerns raised about the pace at which the new common core curriculum is being implemented. The US intends to introduce a revised set of educational standards designed to promote skills in young learners. The article looks at issues affecting the implementation of the common core curriculum within the last ten years. It also addresses issues associated with the relationships between education and cognitive psychology, as well as the challenges faced by teachers in redesigning the curriculum.
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Reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the views stated in the article
I agree with the author’s views. The newly introduced common core curriculum is ruining childhood education in many ways (Stewart, 2013). I agree with the examinations and assessments in schools, but the performance pressure in the new curriculum is very high in the meantime. Some people may argue that constant examinations help students to memorize the content taught; however, the pace is too high for both children and teachers.
The pace of implementation needs to be slowed down or done away with because it is a source of stress for teachers and students. We cannot expect teachers to teach while under pressure and obtain good results. The pressure of continuous examinations and assessments will also be stressful for the children and hence reduce their performance. The constant pressure can escalate the levels of anxiety in the students.
The common core curriculum does not favor creativity. Initially, the opportunity to harness a student’s creativity was incorporated into the learning curriculum. For instance, teachers engaged elementary school children in creative activities after reading textbooks. They also participated in spelling examinations. Busy-work is the rule of the game in the common core curriculum. This curriculum requires children to write and re-write words, as well as sentences. It is monotonous, especially for these kids because they love engagements and exposure to different activities as they learn. The common core curriculum does not allow them to come up with their creativity.
For instance, teachers overload them with assignments of correcting sentences, which they did not construct. They do not have enough time to invent up with their innovations. The common core curriculum loads students with work packets as homework and, at the same time, requires them to study for examinations. The curriculum is more about memorizing rather than creativity and thinking.
The common core curriculum does not provide children with enough time to socialize. The busy-work rule in the common core curriculum does not provide room for recess. Recess involves practicing social skills by taking turns, negotiating, and initiating friendships. It also involves working together and learning to cope with disappointments, among others. The initial curriculum provided students with an opportunity to learn social skills. However, the common core curriculum does not have time for recess. It does not provide students with an opportunity to develop their social skills, and hence should be slowed down or stopped.
The other reason that makes me agree with the author’s views about slowing down or doing away with the common core system is, It does not have enough allowance for the provision of exercises. Lack of exercise affects the health of students. Currently, obesity is a big issue, especially among students and teachers in the US. The common core curriculum allows students to utilize 15-20 minutes for lunch only. The schools which have adopted the common core curriculum do not offer students physical education. Without recess and PE, children may develop health problems. This curriculum is unfit for US schools at the moment. The pace at which the US government is implementing the curriculum needs to be reduced to allow students and teachers to adopt it without difficulties.
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Modern students are given a lot of homework, and hence have no time to rest. For instance, teachers assign 3-hour assignments to grade three students in a majority of the US elementary schools. It is not inclusive of the projects that they must accomplish. Stressing children with this work does not do them any good. Instead, it lowers their educational performance. I precisely agree with the author’s views concerning the issues in the common core curriculum.
State whether your opinion has changed after reading the article
After reading Stewart’s (2013) article, I have not changed my mind about the common core curriculum. Just like him, I feel it is high time to rethink the common core curriculum and come up with an appropriate curriculum that suits children, teachers, and the community at large (Stewart, 2013). Stress caused by assignment overloads impacts negatively on an individual’s physical and emotional health. Children cannot be raised by overworking them in the name of learning. They need time to read and rest, time to attend recess, time to exercise, and time to engage in creative activities. This can make them improve academically and enjoy healthy lives.
Stewart, W. (2013). US common core steps are ‘rushed’. Times Educational Supplement, 1 (5053), 20-21. Web.