Being a special ed teacher, I can't help but wonder what would Jean Piaget say about Common Core? Any teacher worth his or her salt knows that we all develop at different rates and there are multiple pathways of development. Yes, with this new reform, multiple pathways are being considered. However, heterogeneous developmental rates are not. When considering CC, it concerns me that funding is linked with standards (again). Why are our school leaders putting dollar amounts on development? Not everyone achieves developmental milestones at the same rate. Indeed, certain milestones may never be achieved, but there are other gifts that may compensate or may surpass them in terms of benefiting a community, such as kindness.
Piaget contended that the Formal Operations Stage typically began at age 12. Yet, many school leaders expect K-12 teachers to perform a developmental miracle and have most kids achieve Formal Operations in elementary school. On the flip side, many Gifted Ed programs are being cut or have been cut. I don't know of too many public schools that are offering Gifted Ed classes anymore. Yes, some offer Advanced Placement (AP). However, AP is different than Gifted Ed. How is this serving and supporting our brightest kiddos? Indeed, many drop out because they are so frustrated or bored with formalized education. I believe it would help our K-12 school leaders to go back and look through the lens of cognitive developmental psychology and further familiarize themselves with neurology when considering school reform. There will probably be another one in about 10 years. I hope that in 10 years, we'll be having a different kind of conversation.
So what would Piaget say about Common Core? Honestly, I imagine he would chuckle.