One of the sessions I attended at NCTM Denver last week was “Essential Mindsets for Tilling the Soil for the Common Core State Standards”, presented by Steve Leinwand of the American Institutes for Research.
His session was a passionate plea for educators in America to “drink the Common Core Kool-Aid” as he said he has, “for better or worse”.
Leinwand proceeded to explain that educators need to develop a particular set of mindsets to move forward with successful implementation of the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, and provided a definition of the word mindset:
He gave several justifications for why the curriculum has shifted in focus:
He then walked attendees through ten different mindsets he stated were essential in preparing educators for CCSM implementation:
He listed several “next steps” he felt districts needed to do (beyond having educators develop these 10 mindsets) to move forward with the Common Core, including having teachers deal with “at most 18 students” in a class and having districts develop mathematics coaches.
Throughout the session, his presentation was adamantly passionate that educators “suck it up” and use the CCSS, “something we’ve always wanted – a common curriculum”. He told the crowd of listeners that it was no excuse to “lay back whimpering that your colleagues aren’t doing it” or “waiting for the assessments to be developed”. He described this as a moment in the history of mathematics where educators could truly become change agents:
Making no bones about it, he provided a “seize the day” session with the passion of an individual who is vying for the presidency of NCTM – something else which he makes no bones about.
Though this particular session’s slide deck is not yet uploaded to his site, this link provides a similar slide deck (scroll down to find the NCSM April 2012 presentation on “Tilling the Soil for the CCSSM”)