The Iowa Core (formerly known as the Iowa Core Curriculum and the Model Core Curriculum) provides academic expectations for all Iowa's K-12 students.
It does so by helping teachers take learning to a deeper level by focusing on a well-researched set of standards in literacy and mathematics and essential concepts and skills in science, social studies, and 21st century learning (civic literacy, financial literacy, technology literacy, health literacy, and employability skills). The Iowa Core is not course-based, but rather is a student-based approach that supports high expectations for all students.
The vision for the Iowa Core is to ensure the success of each and every student by providing a world-class curriculum. The Iowa Core is designed to improve achievement of all students, preparing them for the world of work and lifelong learning. It identifies the essential content and instruction of critical content areas that all students must experience.
Characteristics of effective instruction and the professional development initiatives are being developed to help educators create student-centered classrooms focused on students and learning rather than teachers and teaching. Iowa teachers are expanding their knowledge of learning and pedagogy as they develop the content of the Iowa Core into rigorous and relevant lessons that help them teach for understanding and learner differences. The Department and educators across Iowa continue to investigate more informative, effective, and authentic assessment for learningto guide instruction.
Further analysis reveals that the shift from a culture of teaching to a culture of learning would requires a change in focus and environment. Content, instruction, and assessment must work together to develop the competencies and habits of mind that are essential for future success in college, careers, and citizenry in an increasingly complex and global society. Six universal constructs have been identified as the building blocks for success in the 21st century: critical thinking, complex communication, creativity, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability, and productivity and accountability.