Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

Common Core Presents an Opportunity for Libraries

During architectural library planning and through construction, we develop a blue print that defines an overall vision of the desired building to guide its construction. This is includes a needs assessment, building program and facility plan that informs the project team with an overall end in mind.

According to Jay McTighe at Edutopia, “Think of the grade-level standards as building materials. As a construction supervisor, we wouldn’t simply drop off materials and tools at a worksite and have the workers “go at it.” Instead, we would begin with a blueprint — with an overall end in mind. Teachers can create wonderful individual rooms that won’t necessarily fit together within and across floors or achieve the intended results.

Common Core outlines individual learning strategies that take into account the big picture. For example, the Mathematics Standards accentuate the focus on a smaller set of conceptually larger ideas that spiral across the grades (as opposed to simply “covering” numerous skills) with an emphasis on meaningful application using the Practices.

Librarians bring a broad range of experiences with them, providing interstitial learning spaces for students and faculty. They provide “in-between” spaces to work as individuals or in small groups and in large settings. Libraries also provide links in the virtual world; links to important information such as a Common Core Starting Point.

In Common Core, each grade is a package of knowledge and skills that build upon the students precision level. This is called a progression, creating continuity from one grade to the next. Nearly every state has adopted the Common Core standards, each state is at a different level of implementation.

Schools that follow Common Core will need to focus on teaching precision skills to enable their students to grow. This is something libraries can support. Librarians are information specialists providing support around research. The foundation of any library is to provide content that will enable an individual, group or class to explore on their own level. Libraries enable students to practice at their own speed, providing space for different activities to build skills.

At the American Library Association meeting #ALA2013 Margaux DelGiudice told Publishers Weekly. “Now is the time for librarians to lead, to reinforce the importance of having a librarian as an information specialist available to support students and teachers. Remember, what is new for many educators are techniques that librarians have been practicing for years.” Rose Luna showed this video by the Teaching Channel that describes Common Core Math Standards.

There is more to come on the development of Common Core Standards. Libraries are a great place to start!