This module provides background on some key shifts in emerging standards of expected student outcomes (e.g., Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, etc.).
Within the United States, there is currently a trend of standardization between states regarding expected student outcomes and upon deeper learning outcomes (e.g., problem solving, critical thinking). Some of these shifts are embodied in current adoption of the Common Core State Standards in English and Mathematics, while others are still on the horizon with movements like the Next Generation Science Standards.
Recognizing Key Shifts in these standards will help us to design curriculum and identify content that will be valuable for our students.
Common Core Key Shifts
English and Language Arts Key Shifts
- Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language
- Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational
- Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
Mathematics Key Shifts
- Greater focus on fewer topics
- Coherence: Linking topics and thinking across grades
- Rigor: Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity
Next Generation Science Key Shifts
- Interconnected Nature of Science and the Real World
- Focus and Coherence
- Deeper Understanding
- Science and Engineering
- College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness
- Alignment to the Common Core
Across these standards, some common themes emerge, including:
- Coherence across and Interconnection between Subjects and Grades
- Depth of Understanding
- Real-world Connections, Application, Value, and Marketability
Adjustments to Curriculum Design and Practice
In a group of two to three, discuss the following questions:
- How might these types of shifts influence teaching in your subject area?
- How might these types of shifts influence school culture and expectations of teachers and students?
- What is needed in your subject area to make these kinds of shifts?