The Common Core academic standards are being implemented to ensure that the US has a more rigorous curriculum being taught in a very clear and coherent manner. This process was designed so that parents and students have an understanding of the college and career skills students will need to know, in order to be well prepared for 21st Century living and working. The implementation of 50 states Common Core curriculum is a dramatic shift in state sovereignty and control of educational standards. With such a transformational initiative, states and local districts have to be aware of the change process that will follow the implementation of the common core academic standards.
Technical change and adaptive change are two critical aspects of change that must be the focal points when nations, states and local districts make transformative changes. The implementation of the Common Core initiative requires a level of technical skills that define what is changing and what needs to be taught. The technical change aspect of the Common Core initiative requires the clarity of the standards to be taught and aligned to sets of desired outcomes. With technical change, every single item will be mapped out step-by-step. The adaptive change aspect of the equation leans more on “how” the Common Core standards should be taught because students do not arrive to the school house in neat little packages. Human beings are more complex than a step-by-step map. So the adaptive challenge is to amplify learning anyplace, anywhere and anytime. The adaptive challenge for the Common Core will be personalizing the standards with the students and cultivating distributed learning as the norm for 21st Century learning.
The K-TECH principles (Knowing, Trusting, Empowering, Connecting and Honoring) are adaptive change tools local levels can use to amplify the Common Core initiative. Once students see themselves as the focal point of the Common Core initiative, students will become more engaged in their amplified learning. As students feel connected to their learning environment, the use of 21st century learning tools become more of an adaptive skill as well. The Common Core provides the great technical change needed to fix a broken system, the adaptive change helps build the robust practices and capacity not prescribed in the Common Core initiative.