The Common Core Learning Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects can be found here. Download the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy and scroll through. They’re at the end.
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by Maria Popova
From Gertrude Stein to Karl Popper, or how to architect “negative capability” and live with mystery.
One of my favorite books of all time is Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist, which tells the story of how a handful of iconic creators each discovered an essential truth about the mind long before modern science was able to label and pinpoint it — for instance, George Eliot detected neuroplasticity, Gertrude Stein uncovered the deep structure of language, Cézanne fathomed how vision works, and Proust demonstrated the imperfections of memory. I was recently reminded of this powerful passage, in which Lehrer makes a case for the extraordinary importance of the cross-pollination of disciplines, the essence of Brain Pickings’ founding philosophy, particularly of art and science — a convergence Lehrer calls a “fourth culture” that empowers us to “freely transplant knowledge between the sciences and the humanities, and focus on connecting the reductionist fact to our actual experience.”
“We now know enough to know that we will never know everything. This is why we need art: it teaches us how to live with mystery. Only the artist can explore the ineffable without offering us an answer, for sometimes there is no answer. John Keats called this romantic impulse ‘negative capability.’ He said that certain poets, like Shakespeare, had ‘the ability to remain in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.’ Keats realized that just because something can’t be solved, or reduced into the laws of physics, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art.
But before we can get a fourth culture, our two existing cultures must modify their habits. First of all, the humanities must sincerely engage with the sciences. Henry James defined the writer as someone on whom nothing is lost; artists must heed his call and not ignore science’s inspiring descriptions of reality. Every humanist should read Nature.
At the same time, the sciences must recognize that their truths are not the only truths. No knowledge has a monopoly on knowledge. That simple idea will be the starting premise of any fourth culture. As Karl Popper, an eminent defender of science, wrote, ‘It is imperative that we give up the idea of ultimate sources of knowledge, and admit that all knowledge is human; that it is mixed with our errors, our prejudices, our dreams, and our hopes; that all we can do is to grope for truth even though it is beyond our reach. There is no authority beyond the reach of criticism.”
Lehrer’s new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, comes out later this month.
The Shifts in Instruction outline the six instructional shifts needed to effectively implement the Common Core State Standards in Math & ELA and can be found on EngageNy.org at http://engageny.org/resource/common-core-shifts/. The definition of text will vary from discipline to discipline and we know the Arts community is looking at interpreting it to include the artwork itself as well as artist’s statements, narratives, reflections, biographies, analysis of cultural and historical context, and of course art criticism or critiques. Use the attached worksheets to develop each Shift’s correlations in your classroom. We will be posting examples of what the Shifts mean in the art classroom in the near future.
Another reference to help with alignment to the Common Core is the Guiding Principles for the Arts at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/docs/guidingprinciples-arts.pdf. This document has been developed to help responders to the Arts curriculum RFP develop curriculum and can be used by the art teacher right now.
The attached outline was developed by the College Board’s office of Standards and Curriculum Alignment Services, and highlights portions of the current Common Core State Standards documents that may provide natural connections to arts-based standards and practices.
Common Core Resources at The Partnership for 21st Century Skills can be found at http://www.p21.org/images/p21_toolkit_final.pdf.
The National Parent-Teacher Association has created a series of documents that spell out the Common Core expectations for each grade level. The Parent’s Guide to Student Success describes what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career. This document can be used as a tool for parent-teacher discussions as well as a resource for arts curriculum mapping. To view the document, go to http://www.pta.org/4446.htm .