Questions about Questions: NCSS and UbD

Name: Thompson, Kelsie

Topic: ID

Citation: Wiggins, G. (2014, December 8). Questions about Questions: NCSS and UbD. Granted, and… ~ thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins. Retrieved August 5, 2020, from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/questions-about-questions-ncss-and-ubd/

Background: This post comes from a blog entitled Granted, and… ~ thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins. I discovered it while exploring various web pages about the C3 Framework – an instructional approach founded on inquiry to promote college, career, and civic life readiness for students – as it was mentioned as a helpful resource for those who want to learn more about designing and implementing inquiry in social studies well. The inquiry design model is fundamental to the C3 Framework, as is collaboration and experimentation by educators who want to try this approach out for themselves. I became familiar with the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards during my undergraduate pedagogy and history courses, as well as the importance of creating good questions, so I am eager to share this helpful resource!

Summary: In a nutshell, this blog post exists to help educators navigate the process of designing meaningful essential/compelling and supporting questions as they and their students prepare to embark on an inquiry journey. In this post, Grant Wiggins, co-author of Understanding by Design, explains the differences and similarities between the language used by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), which published the C3 Framework for Social Studies, and his own book in defining these types of questions. In doing so, Wiggins offers valuable insight into the traits and functions of good supporting and compelling/essential questions, as well as the process for creating them. Wiggins uses a variety of examples to demonstrate this process to the reader, which includes discussing the challenges that can arise and how to match the wording of each question to its intended purpose.

Evaluation: I found this post to be very insightful, thoughtful, practical, and overall well worth my time to read. There is clarity, detail, and vitality, making this a fascinating and highly readable piece. It is evident that Wiggins has extensive firsthand experience with writing questions, has clearly studied this topic closely, and bases this post on other credible, reputable sources, which lets me know that I can rely on this information. I strongly believe that asking good questions transforms learning and is a trait of a lifelong learner, so I think this post and the C3 Framework in general contribute well to those ends. I feel inspired to use this post to create my own reference sheet for question-making, and it is my hope that my fellow educators on here will benefit from learning more about writing good questions, too.

Educators, Parents Debate the Common Core

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

CBS Sunday Morning. (2014, September 14). Educators, parents debate the Common Core. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpptv5bSIi0

Summary

Despite being a federal initiative, Common Core was started as nationwide collaboration from the state level to develop nationwide standards. 45 states and D.C. initially adopted Common Core and were offered grant money in return for participation. One of the benefits of Common Core was that it raised the standards of states like Tennessee and allowed more accurate comparisons of the academic achievements rates of various states. Despite these benefits, implementation of the Common Core has not been without pushback.

Many conservatives felt that the federal government should not be dictating curriculum even if it was the states who had the power to accept or reject Common Core. Opposition to Common Core was also strong in Progressives states. One of the criticisms of progressives was that the standards that Common Core set were unrealistic; and to support their argument, they singled out have specific test questions as being too difficult for certain grade levels. Education can be condensed into a series of increased standards. While Common Core may be flawed, it was a step in the right direction.

Evaluation

This is an outstanding synopsis of the controversy surrounding Common Core.

 

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

The Understood Team. (n.d.). The difference between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/your-childs-rights/basics-about-childs-rights/the-difference-between-the-every-student-succeeds-act-and-no-child-left-behind

Summary

This resource gives a side by side comparison of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In both acts, the onus is on the States to hold students accountable. One of primary differences between the two acts is that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is more flexible about the of setting academic goals than its predecessor the No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Also, NCLB did not limit the proportion of students who could take an alternative test whereas ESSA limited the proportion to 1% of test takers. As a measure of accountability, the ESSA allows a wide range of factors such as reading and math test scores, high school graduation rates, as well as other optional factors such as kindergarten readiness. In contrast, the NCLB’s measures of accountability focused on academic achievement relying primarily on reading and math test scores.

Evaluation

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind is a great overview on the differences between Every Student Succeeds Act and its predecessor (No Child Left Behind). It doesn’t cover the minutia but is perfect for someone who only needs a summary of these two pieces of legislation.

 

 

Historical Justification and Underpinnings of the American Common Core

Robillard, Gail

CA

Wallender, J. (2014). The Common Core state standards in American public education: Historical underpinnings and justifications. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 80(4), 7-11. Retrieved at http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=be955f56-f9ee-42b7-90a3-51e03e8e0805%40sessionmgr104

In this literature review, the author documents and discusses the historical underpinnings and justifications surrounding CCSS, and synthesizes four main justifications for their adoption. She asserts that only by educators understanding why and how the CCSS adoption came to be will their implementation be effective. The four justifications are creating common educational standards, preparing students for college, stressing quality education for all students, and increasing rigor in schools. The author notes that these four justifications are not new; early educational standards likewise grew from these same objectives.

I like the format of a literature review as it attempts to synthesize all the relevant literature on a topic, thereby giving more weight to the findings. I was interested in the historical development of educational standards as detailed by the author. It was interesting to see what philosophical goals were important to early educators. While the goals seem the same, nonetheless the CCSS have been controversial.  I would be interested in further reading on what precise arguments have been posed against the CCSS. A less important thing I learned was that Delta Kappa Gamma is a professional honor society of women educators, begun just after women were granted the right to vote, in order to promote women in educational leadership positions. The society does not currently permit men to become members.