If you haven’t seen this video, Why We Need Common Core: click on this “I Choose C” and take the time to watch it: When I first received the link to this video I must admit, I almost didn’t click on it. Then I thought, “What the heck!” and clicked. I’ve since watched it more than two dozen times, each with different people who work in afterschool programs, just like me. I must also admit that I laughed hysterically the first time I watched—certainly because it was humorous and well done, but also because had I not laughed, I would probably have cried.
In this short video, K-12 education is laid low. When the young girl interviewing for a position was asked what her strengths were, she asked for answer choices. When she was told there were no answer choices, she considered and then said, “I pick C.” When asked why, she stated that her fifth grade teacher had told her when she didn’t know an answer to pick “C”. The man conducting the interview comments sarcastically, “It sounds like your fifth grade teacher really prepared you for your future.”
This makes me wonder how much damage we have done in the name of becoming basic, proficient, and advanced to current students. Education is about teaching young people to think critically, to access and analyze information, to work collaboratively, think creatively, and communicate effectively. Yet what we have done is create a generation of students who want to pick “C” and think, pair, share their way to right answers. This needs to stop! You have an opportunity in your afterschool program to create a space for learning, for hands-on experiences and review, reflection, and debriefing to create a new style of learning—one that will empower youth to only pick “C” when it makes sense.
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