Tioki Conversation with Milton Chen of George Lucas Education Foundation

I followed a recent conversation with Milton Chen, Senior Fellow of George Lucas Education Foundation on Tioki.

A participant asked him what his favorite Star Wars character was, and what he thinks of the Common Core State Standards. Here’s his reply:

Milton Chen, “Of course, I love Yoda, the master teacher! 

I’m in favor of Common Core, it’s amazing it’s taken us so long to have the states agree on high standards. But the main issue is how they will be accomplished, what is the curriculum to get our students to high levels in English and math? I favor more of a creative, collaborative project-based approach, so I’m hoping there will be more discussion and implementation of this and teacher acting more as coaches than direct instructors.”

The more I work with the Common Core, the more I agree with this. I am watching organizations all over trying to incorporate the standards as neatly and gracefully as possible, but it seems the most effective way may be the messiest. In education, we have valued orderliness, sequence, separation, isolated skill assessment….then on the other hand we talk about the value of collaboration  creativity, and problem solving.  Without bridging the  these core values and classroom practice, how can we expect to achieve what we all say we need?

The ideas swirling around in our industry are great. The core focus of the Common Core is sound.   There is just so much distance between those things and how we are often trying to achieve them. I am thrilled at the collaboration within our industry that we are all participating in, and if we really believe in and value the things we say…collaboration, creativity and problem solving, we will get there…and it’s probably going to be messy.

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