Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Standards, Standards Everywhere

As the new semester begins it's easy to get a sense of being completely overwhelmed by the onslaught of "standards" that prospective teachers are expected to have mastered by the time they graduate and start looking for their first job.

As I prepare for my Elementary Math, Science and Engineering course there are three sets of standards that I have to address; the recently adopted InTASC standards for teachers in the State of Vermont, the Common Core standards for math content and practices, and the newly released Next Generation standards for science and engineering.

The InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards also include the Learning Progressions which further break the Core Teaching Standards down to form a sort of rubric that can be used to determine a student teacher's level of competence. There are 10 Standards each of which addresses a separate aspect of becoming a teacher. Each Standard is then divided into Performance, Essential Knowledge and Critical Disposition Standards that are then further divided into specific pieces of human endeavor giving roughly 200 discrete bits of activity. Each of the Core Teaching Standards is also divided into around 60 separate items in the Progressions section giving about 600 more descriptions of bits of activity.

The Common Core math Standards for Math content and practices includes, on average, 30 content standards for each grade level K - 6. There are also 8 math practice standards which are developmentally appropriately identified in each grade level giving a grand total of around 375 discrete standards.

The Next Generation Science Standards contain between 3 and 5 Standards for each grade level K - 5. Each Standard is then further divided into Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts for a rough total of  around 200 discrete, but relatively broad  standards. 


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