Chalkbeat reported about a study by Suneal Kolluri published in SAGE Journals entitled “Student Perspectives on the Common Core: The Challenge of College Readiness at Urban High Schools.” Kolluri surveyed 54 college-bound, inner-city high school seniors in California to determine how those students perceive their college readiness during the implementation of Common Core.
Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat writes:
“I like working in the old books, because they actually explain it to me,” one said. “Do you want me to learn it? Or do you want me to stare at the problem?”
That’s one response from a survey of students who experienced the shift to the new standards in their math and English classes. The study is quite limited, emerging from interviews from just 54 high-achieving seniors. But it gets at something often overlooked in the political controversy that would eventually surround the standards, which most states adopted in 2010: what it felt like for students to see their classrooms change.
Some of the student’s responses, published last month in a peer-reviewed academic journal, may be surprising. Many blamed the Common Core for encouraging more group work — something they almost universally disliked. In some schools, though, the students appreciated what they perceived as a move away from teacher-led instruction.
In others, students complained that this open-ended approach bred confusion that never transitioned into mastery. And in several schools, it wasn’t clear whether anything changed at all.
This study is anecdotal but instructive. How much group work is attributed to Common Core is debatable depending on the aligned curriculum that teachers use. The standards don’t explicitly call for it, but different pedological trends in education like personalized learning and student-centered learning have entered the classroom that downplays teacher-led instruction.
Complaints about the textbooks are something that can be tied to Common Core as publishers rushed to align their curriculum with the standards. We’ve seen numerous complaints about math textbooks since Common Core was adopted en masse.