Over the past 3 months, I have been tutoring a student on a large Social Studies research project. The project’s theme is Rights and Responsibilities. My 7th grade student has been extensively researching Lewis W. Hine’s photography and child labor. This learner has compiled 15 primary and secondary sources using actual photographs as primary sources, and biographical books, videos, and internet sites as secondary sources. An elaborate multiple page annotated bibliography has been completed. A final report will be presented using drama and props. My student will role play Lewis Hine, a narrator, a child laborer, and a factory owner. This has been a wonderful project for my creative student. However, I do have some criticisms about the project. There has been an incredible amount of preliminary paper work to fill out. In fact, I asked the student, “Who is going to read all of these papers?” It reminded me of the days when I was teaching in the public school. We, as teachers, were required to fill out numerous papers documenting student progress. In my opinion, it was bureaucratic nonsense and a waste of time. My student’s Common Core project has a lot of bureaucratic nonsense with the excessive papers she was required to fill out. There was a lot of monotony and repetition within this project. My second criticism is the length of time it has taken to complete this assignment. Instead of a semester, this project could have been completed within a month’s time. I did enjoy teaching this project, but my final concern is the possible Socialistic leanings regarding the subject “rights and responsibilities”. My conclusion is that Common Core involves more busy work which subtracts from meaningful learning.
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