The topic of Common Core seems to have caused a rift in the educational community but like it or not, these standards are here to stay. We were curious as to why educators decided to implement this new system of learning so we did a bit of research.
To understand the direction our educational platform is moving in, we first have to understand the way we learned “when we were in school”. Stacks of flashcards for multiplication tables, pages of the same types of addition or subtraction problems- it all came down to rote memorization.
Comparatively, common core is a system that’s been designed to help your student think about the why behind it all. Too often we see students graduating from school thinking that they’ll never have a practical application for the math they sat through because they’ve only covered surface level topics. Common Core mathematics will help students understand math from a creatively analytical perspective instead of rote memorization. The focus with Common Core math is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate concepts.
One argument we hear a lot is that the point of the lesson is to get to the answer- that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Professional tennis player Arthur Ashe once said “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” As it relates to education, teachers using the Common Core method are more interested in ensuring the student understands the process, the basic fundamentals to get to their answer, over getting the answer itself.
Why is the process so important? Understanding the process teaches our students to become critical thinkers and to tackle a problem, any problem, from multiple angles. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable not knowing what the right answer is and too often students are stigmatized into silence over asking a question to gain understanding. Common Core will help address the struggle many students face with being afraid to fail or to ask questions to understand the problem.
As a parent, there are several things you can do to help your student understand this new way of learning:
- Be supportive, don’t tell your student that their teacher is doing it the hard way (it’s just the new way)
- Have them explain the assignment to you- you’re probably struggling with the new concepts just as much as your student. Try having them explain what the assignment is so that you can learn too.
- Use visuals- this is a great way to help students understand new concepts, especially with the math lessons.
Have more questions about the Common Core method? Write us back and let us know!