Square Peg, Round Hole

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It is well documented that students learn differently and they most certainly test differently. Teachers honor and respect the cognitive, social, and emotional differences in their students by differentiating instruction. A standardized test does not measure the diverse skills and cognitive abilities of our students in a differentiated or respectful way.

Demanding students stay connected to a text and think critically about text-dependent questions that have only one right answer, is not the same as cultivating independent and critical thinking skills. Just as training students to solve Common Core math word problems, is not the same as fostering the development of creative problem-solving skills.

NASA scientists were confronted with a “Square Peg, Round Hole” dilemma during the Apollo 13 Mission in 1970. Fortunately they were educated in the BC era (Before Core) when student-centered and non-routine learning experiences cultivated creative, innovative, and inventive thinkers who were prepared and “ready” to solve a novel problem as they tried out and tested numerous plausible strategies and solutions.

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