At first, I was a bit ashamed as I thought to myself, I haven't been reading anything Common Core related lately. Then I thought about what I have been reading -- Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes -- and how it's changed my outlook almost completely on the food part of my life.
The basic premise of the book, as a follow up to Good Calories, Bad Calories, is that it's not just about how many calories we put into our bodies, but about which ones and how those calories interact physiologically with our bodies. My whole life -- and I'd imagine it's the same for many people -- I've just assumed that all calories were "equal." 150 calories of pizza = 150 calories of chicken. Right?
According to Taubes, and the research he cites, wrong. Long story short -- and it is a long story, but worth reading -- carbohydrates are broken down in a different, slower, inefficient way than most other "calories" we put into our bodies. If you're interested in learning more without diving all the way into the book, I'd suggest starting with Mark's Daily Apple.
After 10 days living "primally," I feel healthier and energized, and I look leaner and happier (according to multiple people who brought it up to me without any prompting.)
So what does this have to do with Common Core? Common Core gives us a chance to rethink our current "eating habits" in schools. Are all standards "equal"? As Mike Schmoker said in the article Deb shared, "No." Is having more standards necessarily better? Fewer?
One of my biggest "a-ha moments" of Why We Get Fat was when Taubes pointed out the absurdity of the "eat less, exercise more" advice we've probably all heard at one point or another. If we exercise, we build up an appetite. Expending calories (exercising) makes our bodies need more calories. Can you imagine someone telling me to "Drive farther, but use less gasoline" if I complained about the price of gas? The way we've figured out how to do just that -- "Drive farther, but use less gasoline" -- is by getting away from the conventional wisdom of a gasoline-only engine. This book has helped me realize that to get to a better place in my eating habits, I need to think differently.
The Common Core State Standards give us a chance to do that. Will we -- teachers, curriculum facilitators, administrators -- take advantage of this opportunity?
This class has helped me realize that while I may not be excited about the standards themselves, I should be excited about the opportunities they present.
What opportunities do you see the Common Core State Standards presenting?