What Should Be the Core of the Common Core?

As all new attempts at curriculum reform, the Common Core has generated its’ share of criticism. Looking back at Whole Language, New Math, Outcome Based Education and other initiatives, the well-intended reforms floundered on the shoals of public misunderstanding, poor implementation, over-implementation, and all the other risks of change. The major differentiation currently, of course, is the breadth of the Common Core mandate. Much of the internal anxiety over Common Core

The Research Supporting TESS (part 2)

A continuation of The Research Supporting TESS (part 1) The second great influence on the development of what we now know as direct instruction was Dr. Madeline Hunter, who published most of her research and theory in the 1980’s. Dr. Hunter believed that the majority of a teacher’s work was decision making; decision making around three categories, 1) Content decisions – what is to be taught, 2) teacher behavior categories – how is the material to be taught, and 3) learner be

The Research Supporting TESS (part 1)

Often, when doing teacher training in direct instruction, we are asked about the research behind the model. It is an honest question from either teachers or administrators, but in some ways the question is mildly shocking. In fact, the elements, or steps, making up direct instruction, (or as it is sometimes referred to “best first instruction,”) have been the central teaching model around which most of educational research has been focused for the past fifty years. Of cour