Santa Ana teachers take sabbatical to improve curriculum

October 22, 2012 by  

When the new federal Common Core State Standards was recently passed, Santa Ana took the challenge to heart and designated 44 teachers to take a year-long sabbatical to revise the curriculum. The objective is to study in detail the intent of the new standards and derive teaching methods to better align students with the new learning objectives.

Forty-five states, as well as the District of Columbia, have now adopted the Common Core standards, replacing a system of widely-varied, loose-fitting teaching standards. The intent of Common Core teaching is to develop conceptual thinking and a big-picture approach to problem-solving. It encourages students to work collaboratively to derive solutions. So far, the Common Core principles are applied to English and math.

Conclusions and recommendations from the group of teachers studying the best ways to apply the Common Core principles will be available for the next school year. Print companies will work with officials on instructional manuals, flyer printing, and catalog printing for teachers to instruct the 54,000 students in the Santa Ana district.

The study group is currently testing the sample lessons they have put together in elementary, middle and high-school classrooms. Feedback from the tests will help to refine the final recommendations.

Common Core teaching will be educational for both teachers and students. Teachers will be challenged to approach lessons from a different perspective, which is aimed to inspire creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Students will be asked more thought-provoking questions that relate to life experiences and the choices that we make.