All of my teaching career, I have taught off of US standards, first Georgia Performance Standards, and then Michigan standards. This year is the first time I am using a new set of standards. My new school uses the UK National Curriculum. I have to say I was surprised a little when I began reading them. I guess in my naiveté, I thought all of the standards were generally the same, but I have found big differences, especially in math. I wrote about some of these differences over at my blog, Raki’s Rad Resources. Feel free to stop by and see some of those standard differences.
I also found differences in the way the standards are written. Many of the US standards, especially the new Common Core Curriculum are written to say “Students will know or Students will identify or Students will compare”. There is a large stress of the verb of what students will be able to DO. The UK National Curriculum standards are written to say “Pupils will be taught…”. The emphasis then is on what is being taught, rather than on what students are accomplishing. Now, this could very well be a different way to say the same thing, but for me I found the difference striking. Honestly, I like the UK way better because it is something I have more control over. I can control whether I teach each student each skill to the best of my ability. I can’t always control whether each student can “identify” or “compare” due to circumstances outside of my control (language level, learning ability, home circumstances etc.).
Anyways, this got me to thinking – what set of standards does YOUR school use?