Creating ‘academic discomfort’ in a Common Core classroom
By Tyler on August 30th, 2012
This is one in a series of posts examining the Common Core State Standards and the conversation surrounding their impact on teaching and learning.
I like what Glenn Wiebe said on his History Tech blog the other day about effective teaching — that great lessons create “academic discomfort” in students.
Learning should be about trying to solve problems rather than memorizing answers. Everyday, scientists, historians, doctors and teachers are tasked with solving problems they’ve never seen before. How to cure a disease or treat a patient, how to resolve an international conflict based on lessons from the past, how to help a student with unique needs and unique interests. The best kind of learning is applications-based — “applying” what you’ve learned rather than regurgitating it.
This is certainly the direction that the Common Core is trying to go, with new assessments being developed and with the standards themselves focused on “reading, writing, researching, problem solving, using primary sources, asking questions,” as Glenn writes.
In his post, Glenn outlines a problem solving lesson for a social studies classroom that compares and contrasts Google Earth images and asks students to figure out why they look different. Turns out the two images are of Warsaw from before and after World War II. The point of the lesson is not about the answer, but about the debate and collaboration and research and application of tools and prior knowledge.
Great teachers are coming up with lessons like this everyday, and, Glenn says, the Common Core is only encouraging more of it.
(Flickr photo by goodspeed)
No comments yet