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December 7, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

What effect do education standards have in classroom creativity

I think this is a curved relationship rather than the linear one you suggest. The question in my mind is what the curve looks like. The research on checklists certainly that some standardization is good–plus is provides commonality for shared experiences in progressive years. For instance, the kid at 10 has roughly 8 more years of learning which theoretically builds on his knowledge of the Civil War. Theres no reason why checklists in this context can’t encourage creativity. For instance, pick one objective you need to get to next year–place it in the center of a piece of paper……and go wild (i.e. idea graph scenario). But realize the context for that discussion is built on the back of some degree of standardization from years before. If you take 180 days * 7 hours * 4 blocks of time in each hour = 5040. But realistically in some classes like social studies, you can cover 5 to 7 concepts in that time…..and have a 30 to 45 minute project and still be ahead of the curve time wise.

To me this mirrors the Laffer Curve in economics. The Laffer curve says that taxes can be good at certain levels….but reach diminishing returns at others. I think the relationship you are describing is just the same. Standards can provide some good–particularly in small to medium doses…..but going beyond is what is difficult. Particularly when teachers have to deal with individualize and one to one learning.

To be fair. I’ve taught in the past….but I’m not teaching now–at least in the classroom. I’m not a uber-fan of standardization….but I think that given that its here….optimizing for what exists at least in the short run is the best strategy for our students and perhaps even our sanity.

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