From the Inside In: An Examination of Common Core Knowledge & Communication in Schools
From the abstract: “In this report, CPRE researchers explore how Common Core knowledge and influence are distributed inside of schools and how these configurations may help teachers to engage with the Common Core and influence their understanding and implementation. To do so, we used a mixed-method approach to examine knowledge and influence in eight schools, including five elementary schools and three middle schools. Our central method was a survey of knowledge and influence of all faculty members in a sample of eight schools. These data are supplemented with interview data from a purposeful sample of teachers and administrators in the eight schools.” The authors report several findings, such as teachers had more knowledge on ELA Common Core State Standards (CCSS) knowledge than the math CCSS, and administrators and coaches scored better on ELA and math CCSS knowledge than teachers.
This lengthy publication is important in its study of the value of “in school expertise” supporting staff development related to knowledge of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The study found that 56 individuals, or just 11 %, of the 495 participants, were identified on the social network component of the school surveys, and classified as significantly influential in development of CCSS knowledge within their schools. These individuals tended to be administrators and coaches. The length of the resource was especially challenging and would have been more valuable if its abstract more succinctly noted important findings including the need to, “build upon the instructional capacity within their schools and explore mechanisms to tap into this existing capacity and seek ways to spread existing resource(s) amongst staff. This might mean creating opportunities within schools for teachers to engage together around implementation challenges, or structuring tasks that require teachers to question and learn from each other, or simply creating opportunities to exchange strategies or ideas.” This is especially crucial for identified CCSS knowledge leaders. The study notes the value of both external and internal supports as valuable tools in increasing staff knowledge and expertise.