“Architect” of Common Core David Coleman has already aligned the SAT/ACT with the Common Core and AP US History (APUSH). These “revamps” haven’t been great news, so far. Many see the APUSH rewrite as a pile of tripe that exudes hatred of America. The latest is that Coleman is after other courses such as Art History and Biology.
According to The Hechinger Report, the “old” Art History looked like this:
A table determined how much time should be spent on three topics: Thirty percent on European art from the time of ancient Greece through the Gothic Era, 50 percent on Western art from the Renaissance through the present and 20 percent on art outside of the European tradition.
The “new” Art History will look like this:
Now a 150-page outline asks students to grapple with three big ideas: “Artists manipulate materials and ideas to create an aesthetic object, act or event,” “art making is shaped by tradition and change,” and “interpretations of art are variable.”
So instead of learning about particular pieces of art—biographies of artists, why their art is important, study of the culture and times of the artist–students are now going to study the “concept” of art. I don’t even know what this means, “art making is shaped by tradition and change.” I mean, yes, I actually understand the words, but I don’t know how that will look in the classroom. And what classifies as art? Oh…an “aesthetic object, act or event” (?).
Let me go out on an extreme limb here…but are they saying any created event could be called “art”? Are we going to be so stupid as to say that perhaps something like 9-11 could have been deemed an act of art? The Boston Bombing? They were “created events,” no? Yes, I’m aware that I sound completely idiotic here and that is to make a point. The point being…this is idiotic!
Moving on, here is what the “new” biology will look like. Mind you, they revamped Biology 2 years ago but this fall four new “frameworks” for Biology have been put into motion.
Presented students with a list of eight topics – which included “Evolution,” “Energy Transfer,” and “Science as a Process.” It included a list of 12 recommended experiments.
The “new” Biology
Four big ideas replace the list, starting with, “Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.” The new guide only suggests teachers do eight experiments.
As is the case with all-things-Common Core, there will be more conceptual teaching, less transfer of actual knowledge. “The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.” Yes, there’s a theory for you. Of course some things have evolved…evolution happens. Has it happened to humans? Did we start out as algae? Many of us think not. But, hey, we’re not here to shove Bibles down school children’s throats.
I have to tell you that if I was in this “new” Biology class and the teacher stood up and said, “The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life,” I’d probably laugh out loud. Are the class members just going to sit around and give theories and opinions on diversity and unity? Is there anything fact- based here?
I can also imagine the future, when we’re pulling up to get our cars washed and the car wash attendant says, “Ma’am, welcome to the car wash! I don’t know how to actually wash your car but I got an A+ in earning the concept of it.”
We’re going to be creating a generation of young people who think they know everything with their “critical thinking” skills from high school and college. I’m guessing the conversation one may have with them will be painful.