Depth vs. Breadth

Common Core State Standards Part 1:

Arizona is one of the 45 states that has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In the sidebar under “Useful Links” I’ve perma-linked the CCSS website. As this is a hot topic in education right now, and one that will most certainly affect all students in Yuma, I will be devoting quite a few posts to this, but this first one is just intended to touch on one of the most fundamental ideas behind the implementation of the CCSS. That idea is that instead of pushing students through many concepts at a very shallow level of understanding, the intent of Common Core is to gain a deeper understanding of a smaller number of concepts. The basic idea is that if students are simply forced through material that they don’t really understand, then they will not really be prepared to use that knowledge. Furthermore, since they won’t be prepared to apply that knowledge, they most likely won’t be set up to succeed in subsequent courses that build on that knowledge. The idea of emphasizing depth and rigor is that students will have sufficient time to truly master concepts, and therefore when they do move on to a new concept, they will be able to take that prior knowledge with them and use it as a tool in approaching the new knowledge.

This video does a great job explaining the concept of (and reasoning behind) greater depth:


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3 responses to “Depth vs. Breadth”

  1. Allyson Canales says :

    Quality over quantity any day

  2. Jack Gulden says :

    “As a former student of Gila Ridge, I concur that the Arizona education system is not where it should be”- Alyson Canales, 2013.

  3. Shawn Paumen says :

    I will be interested in hearing veteran teachers responses to what is non-essential in their lesson plans. As a “rookie”, I have the ability to develop my year’s plan based on the Standards, but you can bet I will be thinking – depth vs.breadth!

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