Friday, September 19, 2014

Kindergarten Benchmarks!

Let's do a little international benchmarking on the subject of curricular outcomes in Kindergarten.

Common Core:

Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18 = 10 +8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

Let's start with Finland, grades 1-2 core contents, numbers and calculations.  The relevant points are:

* properties of numbers: comparison, classification, ordering, using concrete means to break down and assmeble numbers
* principle on which the decimal system is based
* addition and subtraction, and connections between calculations, using natural numbers
* use of different ways and means of calculating: blocks and decimal tools, continuum, mental calculation, using pencil and paper
* investigating the number of various alternatives

South Korea's 2007 kindergarten (age 3-7, according to Wikipedia) curriculum includes: developing basic mathematical abilities, developing a sense for numbers, counting surrounding objects to number 10, experiencing additions and subtractions with concrete objects.

Of all possible mathematics standards, are Common Core the most prescriptive?  No.  Are they more prescriptive and "rigorous" than the mandated national curricula of the high performing countries we are supposedly trying to emulate?  Yes.

One can argue that Common Core's level of specificity and rigor is right and all the other countries are wrong, but we should be clear that that's the real claim.

South Korea:

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