Beyond Core Expectations

Un libro in lingua di Dove Maria G. Andrea Honigsfeld Audrey Cohan edito da Corwin Pr, 2014

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Of the hundreds of books and resources that have been published in support of the Common Core implementation, few have addressed meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically-diverse learners, or struggling students in general. In fact, in a recent Amazon search, the only titles that appear to focus exclusively on this critically important issue are the Dove/Honigsfeld , "Common Core and the Not So Common Learner" volumes -- the first of which (Grades K-5) was just released. These books -- written for classroom teachers -- offer an array of proven instructional strategies that provide diverse learners access to the rigorous academic demands of the CCSS ELA standards. In contrast, the proposed title focuses on the requisite shifts in schoolwide practices that collectively support the academic growth of diverse learners. Examples of these shifts include:

  • Collaborative planning, assessment, and instruction
  • Moving from teacher-directed instruction to an inquiry-based, highly participatory, engaging school experience
  • Integrating the teaching of academic language with the teaching of content.

Implementing the Common Core State Standards with fidelity means embracing and addressing the diverse needs of all students. This imperative reflects the reality that regardless of how effectively school district leaders develop and implement high-quality curricula aligned with the new standards, some students will need additional support and interventions to be successful. Yet, from all appearances, most implementation efforts thusfar, have failed to put much thought into differentiating instruction for language-learning students, students with disabilities, or other historically-marginalized groups. Treating these populations of "not so common" learners as "afterthoughts" will doom the entire enterprise to failure.

Honigsfeld, Dove, and Cohan have proposed a "Six Shift" model for schoolwide Common Core implementation in academically, culturally, and linguistically diverse schools. The six paradigm shifts that form the foundation of the book collectively describe what is needed to create a shared vision and mission within a school that would support the implementation of rigorous academic standards for diverse learners, yet make learning highly engaging and accessible. In the authors' words,

Successful Common core implementation requires systematic and strategic understanding with the diverse student in mind. Simply stated, teachers and administrators recognize that this is a fundamental and on-going change for teachers of this decade and requires instructional support and manageable “pieces” to achieve best practices. This book will meet the challenge.

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