education / lifestyle / Style

Performance Counts

There is so much you can discern about people by the way they “perform” in their lives.  I don’t mean acting or faking.  I mean the actual performance of daily tasks (carpooling, child rearing, grocery shopping, going to work, meetings, discussions, heart-to-heart talks) and summative tasks (concerts, ball games, theatrical performances, school and job projects, and official rites of passage such as weddings, confirmations, etc.).  So much can be gleaned from observations of people moving through their daily lives.  We do this all the time, mostly without thought.  It is how we determine who we trust, who we marry, who we avoid, who we hire, fire, befriend…

I can tell you which of my friends, family members and coworkers operate in a principle-based fashion.  Oh, they may falter now and then, but I know they will quickly get back to their “core”, and I pretty much can count on them to act in accordance with these principles on a regular basis.  These are the friends I call in my times of need.  These are the friends I can trust with my secrets, my children’s care, my mother’s needs, and my life.  These people perform consistently and in accordance with universal principles.  These people are successful in ways that financial records and social status cannot validate.  The truth is, however, while none of them are rich, they are all able to meet their obligations and are well-respected in their circles.  That is not by accident.  They perform.  They perform at high levels and they, and everyone around them, benefit from their performance.

The national education system is moving toward something called the Common Core Curriculum.  At its core (if you will) are “performance tasks”.  These tasks give students the opportunity to demonstrate and apply their knowledge, based upon skills and concepts they have acquired, to create a final product.  These products must be completed in an ethical manner and generally in group settings.

We must collaborate and proceed through our daily rounds ethically in the real world outside of the academic setting as well.  We must continuously rely upon our collective skill set and prior knowledge to come to new understandings as we work, play, communicate, and collaborate.  What a joy it will be if a by-product of this curriculum is a generation of students who know the importance of repeated, thoughtfully-evaluated performance.  What a thrill it will be to see them navigate the world as adults performing in solid principle-based fashion.  And won’t it be exciting to benefit from their interactions with us?

Until next time, take notice of those around you who are giving a quality life performance.  Also take the time to research the new Common Core Curriculum. http://www.corestandards.org/  http://www.smarterbalanced.org/.  Let me know what you think. Image

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2 thoughts on “Performance Counts

  1. I am an online English teacher who is becoming necessarily familiar with Common Core. In fact, I attended a workshop not too long ago. There’s something comforting about returning to the core, both in education, and in life. Thanks so much for this unique perspective!

  2. It IS refreshing lperdue73! I am excited about the performance tasks I am going to see in the schools in my role as a county director. What kind of performance tasks are you using or toying with using? I’d love your input, especially since you teach online. Our brick – and – mortar teachers are infusing online instruction with their classroom instruction. We could use some thoughts from the field!

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