I may be a bit old fashioned when it comes to my philosophy on education. And while the jury is still out, I do remain uncomfortably curious about what a Common Core future means to young learners. My initial reaction sees a narrowing of the curriculum, and I feel like lodging complaints like an old man subjected to rock and roll music. Get off my lawn, you scamps!
Then, I see the great resources and books my fellow editors at The Mailbox are putting together that are aligned to the Common Core and think differently. That’s pure, high-quality education like we had back in the olden days!
Still, I worry. For example, the disappearance of music classes from many elementary schools across the nation concerns me. Music classes provide more than a bit of added breadth and depth to a young person’s learning. Evidence shows that a music curriculum that emphasizes clapping beats, chanting and understanding musical notations helps students understand concepts of fractions. This is especially true since music theory identifies notes by halves, eighths, sixteenths, and more. In a study in California, third-grade students enrolled in a music theory style class scored 50% better on fraction tests than those not enrolled.
Am I wrong to worry when I see we are cutting out those extras such as music, art, and drama? Maybe you have some soothing words that will ease my mind.