The Core of Iowa; Education

Iowa Core Curriculum

What is the Iowa Core Curriculum Anyways?

Really it's just a document given to school districts. School districts compare their curriculum to the Iowa Core. They then must fill in the "gaps". In other words the schools curriculum most closely match the Iowa Core. The Core is not course-based. However, it is geared more towards expectations for students and 21st century skills.

Right Work, Right Time, Right People

The Core was created to ensure that all students have access to work that will challenge and meet their future needs. Educators/ teachers also greatly benefit for The Core. Teachers most continuously improve upon and further their skills. Goals and benchmarks are also outlined in the core. This is why educators and teachers are required to constantly build upon already known skills. Overall, the big picture is that at the end of the implementation of The Iowa Core all school districts are engaged in the learning practices that are shown to work.

Do we have to work together? Are they working together?

The Iowa Core refers to how and to what extent their policies are being followed; Alignment. In other words are all of the aspects of The Iowa Core Curriculum being enacted (content, instruction, and assessment).

Are there due dates or grades? #Fail #Pass

Of course to enact such a large and complicated set of rules is going to take time. Every school district in Iowa is required to write a plan describing how they plan to implement the Iowa Core Curriculum. The Iowa Department of Education even recognizes the lengthy process, " School or district is able to provide evidence that an ongoing process is in place to ensure that each and every student is learning the Essential Concepts and Skill Sets of the Iowa Core Curriculum...... The school is fully engaged in a continuous improvement process that specifically targets improved student learning and performance".

And What are those teachers for? O Yeah, to teach!

The Iowa Core outlines five guidelines for the effectiveness of instruction or the acronym S.T.A.R.T.

Student- Centered Classrooms: Students help themselves to learn. The teachers relay the concepts and parts of the curriculum to the students. This is return, allows the students to show their learning in many different ways.

Teaching for Understanding: Can the student provide evidence and examples about a topic. Is there a more effective way that they understand it that maybe you don't? Teachers assist students to make connections from previously gained knowledge to new ideas.

Assessment FOR Learning: Gives feedback to adjust or further the understanding of core content. These give students clear goals and to help themselves and educators track learning.

Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum: Is the curriculum complicated and challenging? Is there higher order thinking skills taking place? Does the student show in-depth understanding of a topic?

Teaching for Learner Differences: How the teacher meets the individual educational needs of the students.

Great Life Lessons From Famous Teachers

Those Skills.....#21stCentury

The core identifies skills that are needed to further help students in the 21st century. These would include:

  • Health literacy
  • Employability skills
  • Financial literacy
  • Technology literacy
  • Civic literacy

In other words, these would be your basic "survival skills" that everyone should have a basic grasp of. Another concept of this, is that we are currently preparing our students for jobs that don't yet exist.

It's all about the kids!

According to the core, students should construct their own knowledge based on many different skills and bases of experience. This could mean conducting your own experiment, challenging themselves, and building their own learning opportunities.

Everybody's Different... #SelfieSunday

Teachers are expected to meet the needs of all students. To do this they must have basic understanding of skills and concepts and the outcomes of them. Overall, is the instruction appropriate for the student?

Those #earlyouts tho!

The cores requires that all educators have professional development. During this teachers work on skills to effectively do their jobs, according to the core. The creators of the core believe that by bettering teachers, students will have a more positive outcome.