During the fall of 2015, I conducted research in a Hartford public school in order to investigate how a group of teachers interpret and act on the Common Core State Standards. My findings are based primarily on responses from ten semi-structured interviews with elementary school teachers.
My research shows that while teachers embrace the pedagogical messages of the Common Core, these educators also actively revise and refine their teaching methods in order to use the standards as a tool for teaching important life skills. By viewing student academic struggle as an opportunity for growth, teachers use the Common Core to teach ambition, self-sufficiency, and resiliency. In addition, my research reveals a greater shift in controversy that has taken place since the initial release of the Common Core. While many people still remain critical of the policy, it is surprising to see that the teachers involved in my study generally accept key elements of the standards that were once highly contentious.
If you are curious to know more, you can read my paper here.
I also presented my findings to a group of educational studies students and professors at the conclusion of my project. A video of that presentation can be seen below.