If you look closely you will see a tugboat alongside a ship making it’s way through The Narrows, a waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean and New York City ports. Everyday I observe the same scene the ship makes it’s way into the Narrows and must sit and wait for the tugboat to come alongside and guide it through the waterway. Alone, the ship would not make it to the port safely because only the tugboat’s captain and crew are knowledgable of the specific areas of the waterway that do not accomodate large ships . As big and powerful as the ship looks, if the tugboat does not come to guide it, the ship remains stuck in The Narrows, not moving forward toward it’s goal (the port).
I liken the ship to the Common Core without self-regulatory strategy alignment. If we want our students to be life long learners, educators need to work with learners of all ages within structural guidelines of the common core standards and use self-regulation to help our students become independent learners. The tugboat analogy attempts to show the Common Core State Standards as a structure of goals (big ship needs to reach port) and the realization that without self-regulation (tugboat has power and knowledge to guide) the ship will remain in the waterway, looking big and strong, but not able to move ahead.
Many educators recognize the commonalities shared by self-regulation and the common core, I see it when I visit classrooms were teachers are practicing on cognitive modeling, acting as coping models, teaching self-monitoring, encouraging self-evaluation in order to guide their learner’s towards independent learning. Significant progress is being made with students who are not only learning how to read and comprehend informational texts, but are given training in self-regulated learning as well. Future blogs will provide more specific ways of aligning self-regulation training with the common core state standards, a very powerful union!