Archive for Monday, April 15, 2013

State education board set to vote on new history and government curriculum standards

April 15, 2013


The Kansas State Board of Education is scheduled to vote Tuesday on adopting new curriculum standards for history, government and social studies.

Don Gifford, the program consultant for the Department of Education who led the standards writing process, says the new standards will put more emphasis on developing practical skills and less on having students memorize facts and dates.

"In the previous standards, we evaluated discrete bits of information that were void of any kind of context in history, government, geography, economics," he said. "In the new standards, we focused on trying to create broader, overarching statements, and then taking kids through a particular process so they can demonstrate they have knowledge of the content and can actually use the content to do something authentic with it."

The standards are organized around five main concepts: the ideas that choices have consequences; individuals have rights and responsibilities; societies are shaped by beliefs, ideas and diversity; societies experience continuity and change over time; and relationships among people, places, ideas, and environments are dynamic.

Gifford said the social studies standards were last updated in 2003. They cover instruction in history, civics and government, economics and geography, as well as so-called "soft sciences" of psychology and sociology.

Also on Tuesday, the state board will hear a report on the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards, a document developed by a consortium of 26 states, including Kansas.

The state board is expected to vote on whether to adopt those standards later this year.

The regular monthly meeting of the state board begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Department of Education building at 10th and Quincy in Topeka. The meeting continues on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

If I were parents I would keep a close eye on all material coming out new from the Sam Brownback admin.

Why? Because Brownback people are from this Rt Wing Anti Women Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party persuasion. They lack transparency,ethics and honesty.

The word of the day beware.... Rt Wing Anti Women Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party thinkers have ideas and beliefs that the majority of people would rather not subscribe. So I say.

This administration cannot be trusted.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

This new concept is NOT written in stone which is why I suggest paying attention...

Adoption and implementation: While representatives from 26 states had a hand in writing the standards, it has yet to be seen how many will adopt them.

State boards of education must agree to adopt the Next Gen approach. Incorporation of evolution and climate change, called for by the standards, could be sticking points in some states, experts say.

Once states adopt the standards, they must develop curriculums and assessments, which will be a multi-year process, Evans says. With new content comes a greater need for teacher training.

[Find out how some teachers put training to work.]

"At the secondary level, there's going to be a real need for professional development to help teachers figure out how to implement those strategies," he says. "How do you encourage students to pose the questions and develop the experiments and collect the data, with room to make mistakes and go back and redo it?"

Funding: Experiments can be fun and engaging, but they can also be expensive.

"It's certainly going to be an issue," Evans says. "Absent a specific curriculum it's hard to say what things will cost, of course, but I'm optimistic."


============================== Dick and Lynn Cheney suggested on talk radio that American History should begin with Reagan-Bush. Beware.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 2 months ago

this isn't coming "from the Brownback administration".
Step 1: Read the article Step 2: Comment.

Repeat as necessary.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

"Don Gifford spent all 24 educational years providing students with a spiritual outlet through his leadership in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Don considers his work with FCA his most significant extra curricular achievement."

Beware this must go through Sam Brownback....

Peter Hancock 5 years, 2 months ago

The State Board of Education is a separately elected body, sometimes referred to as the "fourth branch of state government." Members are elected from districts. Each district includes exactly four state senate districts. There are 40 state senators, and thus 10 State Board of Education members.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 2 months ago

Merrill, did you know that not all Christians in Kansas are disciples of Governor Brownback?

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