Respond substantively to a minimum of two peers by Day 7 of Week 1. Inquire about the character and dynamics of your fellow students’ small group experiences.
Secondary Small Group Concepts
Visual, if you will, a forest. The area is situated of trees, sharing similar features – roots, trunks, branches, limbs, and needles or leaves. A single tree does not constitute a forest; even a group of trees does not define a forest, but they create a forest together. Additionally, while each tree is independent, they are equally dependent and interdependent upon other environmental factors. This concept can be applied to groups on a macro-level or micro-level. Each group creates a valuable piece of the community. As explained in the text, no group is “purely primary or secondary in functioning” (Adams & Galanes, 2017).
The difference between Secondary Small Groups
Primary groups are inclusion-based. These groups are open and allow feedback that promotes self-fulfilling outcomes. They are groups that we find a sense of belonging and comfort, such as our family or closest friends. Secondary groups, on the other hand, control necessities and resolve dilemmas. Together primary and secondary groups balance each other, although their purposes differ. This process takes place in all group environments, even if not associated with learning and support groups. An exchange of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs come together. Like the forest analogy, a seed begins life, the roots substantiate its stability, and the tree flourishes from there – each thrives from the other.
My Group
Years ago, I was offered an opportunity to lead a women’s program at Mt. Hood community College. The Transitions Program is a program that enrolls single mothers and survivors of domestic violence on a path to education and self-sufficiently. The primary group was Mt. Hood Community College prospective students, a large and diverse campus in Gresham, Oregon. The secondary group was the Transitions Program. The primary group was led by the support of an Americorps Advocate who oversaw my presentations for Domestic Violence education and awareness, or more a dyad excluded in groups, but each was representing a population. In general, this opportunity was representative of both learning and support groups for women leaving intimate partner violence but served in support for the first time or returning adult students. Moreover, as single mothers and battered women, women’s education barriers were discussed and overcome. The overcoming of a dilemma or task is reflective of a secondary group.
Although a small group where cohesion is typical of a lesser transparency, the social group aspect successfully allowed a definite presence. Women of all backgrounds came together to support each other. As social groups do, influence came in positive interactions. The rapports that were established created a strong sense of interdependence. As each Transitions Program class graduated, the small groups became a larger group or alumni. As Henman (n.d.) explained, synergy results from groups when they are ‘coherent’ and as the groups ‘mature,’ which is precisely what transpired with this population sample. In a sense, Transitions graduates were the same, yet stood out, exuding the synergy because of the traumatic pasts that led to their bright futures.
Simultaneously, while there was conformity, we each made our marks as explained in the video, Group identity – Ingroup and outgroup formation (HeroicImaginationTV, 2011, 0:51-1:16). Although we were all women, survivors of IPV, single mothers, and embarking college degrees, we stood out from others as strong and proud. We branched out to differing groups from there, including Student Council, Recruiting, and Federal Work Studies, which furthered our careers and self.
Adams, K., & Galanes, G. (2017). Communicating in groups: Application and skills (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. eISBN-13: 9781259983283
HeroicImaginationTV. (2011). Group identity – Ingroup and outgroup formation [Video file]. Retrieved from Group Identity – Ingroup and Outgroup Formation
Henman, L. (n.d.). Groups as systems [PDF file].  http://www.henmanperformancegroup.com/articles/group-systems.pdf
A group cannot be effective if it does not operate actively. As an educator, I am expected to  collaborate with members on my team, as well as education personnel present in the school setting. When this concept is applied to the reading this week, identifying the personality traits present in each team member are essential to managing the team and delegating individualized roles and responsibilities. When this occurs, members of a team are able to gain a sense of independence in identifying which tasks correlate with one’s personal strength (Vries, 2013, p. 1). More specifically, a group is formed when individuals are given the opportunity to collaborate with one another in a meaningful and purposeful manner. Although many individuals are often assigned to a team through one’s occupation, technically a group is not formed until individuals are provided the opportunity to interact in which one shares and receives from members on one’s team (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 11). Therefore, a group cannot be established through small talk or brief encounters with others.
On the other hand, a small group is formed when members of a team are able to pinpoint the individuals one interacts with rather than a numerical value. Consequently, a small group may vary in size and quantity (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 11). Meanwhile, a primary group refers to one’s cultural influences in regards to cohesiveness and collaboration. An individual’s primary group most often forms through the family sector and is formed based on the cultivating close knit bonds (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 14). Additionally, a primary group can also be formed through community and ethnic groupings. The secondary small group differs greatly from that of the small and primary group. This is because, secondary small groups are developed based on the desire to accomplish a specific goal. Many times a secondary small group is birthed from an issue determined in the primary group (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 15).
Finally, I belong to a secondary small group. As a teacher I am a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee, in which we meet each month to review, discuss, and address teacher related concerns. This group seeks to determine ways to address the issues presented and as a team we formulate a plan that is submitted to administration. The small group throughout processes include sharing ideas, maintaining respect for others, effective communication, and solving problems. Each of the elements are maintained through open dialogue in which administration is not present during monthly meetings. This allows members to communicate effectively, solve problems, and share ideas with ease. In addition to this, respect is protected through providing members with choice. For example, each member has the option to share ideas verbally or anonymously. Overall, I would like for meetings to be conducted more frequently as many teachers experience concerns weekly versus monthly.
Adams, K., & Galanes, G. (2017). Communicating in groups: application and skills (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Kets de Vries, M.F.R. (2013, December). The eight archetypes of leadership [Web page]. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-eight-archetypes-of-leadership
Respond to at least two classmates’ postings.
Explain how state standards came into existence.
Our book states that “by the mid-1990s, all 50 states had adopted discipline-based benchmarks to measure whether students were working at grade level, particularly in the four major subject areas—mathematics, reading/language arts, science, and social studies. Since education is a state’s right under the U.S. Constitution, each of the 50 states had different standards. However, there was also a growing awareness that U.S. students fell further behind students in other industrialized nations” (Hansen, Buczynski, & Puckett, 2015).
Discuss the impact of the standards movement on classroom instruction.
This is hard to say because it was hard for some teachers to use these standards in their classrooms. Mostly because they did not want the standards in their classrooms, according to Tim Walker (2013), the road has been rocky and will continue to be that way. The challenges surrounding implementation, however, are formidable. Teachers are concerned about adapting their classrooms to the rigorous new standards and receiving the proper training. Many are also wondering about the role of new assessments. But they also recognize the enormous opportunity that lies ahead (Walker, 2013). This would mean that teachers must work a little harder to reach their CCSS goals in their classrooms. Plus, this also means that they can become worried about what may lie ahead of them.
How do the Common Core Standards intend to affect instruction in schools to meet both learner and societal goals?
The specifications will require educators to alter their methods in teaching. Considering that the standards have put in place expectations, the teachers will have to ensure that each student will be prepared for the next year’s curriculum (Resilient Educator, 2020). This allows them to see if their students are ready for the next grade level or prepare to continue onto the next grade level and meet their common goals or standards. The specifications will influence educators once it correlates to collaboration and communication between the various age groups and learning levels. As stated by CoreStandards.org, a vital goal of the standards is getting teachers, students, and parents to work together toward a common goal (Resilient Educator, 2020). Working together means that we can reach a common goal that we would want all our students or educators to get. The Common Core State Standards are designed to assist educators by delivering reliable educational needs and techniques. According to CoreStandards.org, rigorous content is intended to build upon previous knowledge and has precise education requirements (Resilient Educator, 2020). The effect to educators will likewise be about continuing education and any additional educational qualifications an educator might engage in throughout the academic year. According to CoreStandards.org, teachers’ professional programs and college education will change to provide educators a better understanding of student requirements at different grade levels (Resilient Educator, 2020).
What are some pros and cons of the Common Core Standards from your own point of view?
One of the pros would have to be that the CCSS helps every student learn and helps them reach their educational goals. However, not every student will reach their common goals by the end of the year because they may need a little more help to achieve them than the other students. Another pro is that they help change the way we look at education because education changes every day, even when we may not know it. Another pro would be that the stands help students become college-ready. The cons of the standards are the transition because many teachers have refused to use the CCSS within their classrooms, causing many outstanding teachers and other staff members to change careers. In contrast, many others decided to retire than to adjust how they teach. Some of the CCSS is too vague because they do not acquire a lot or enough information on each standard. They also lack modifications for students with disabilities because they do not have an equivalency test for students with special needs; most states provide these students a modified version of a test, but there is no tool for the CCSS.
Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S.  (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Meador, Derrick. (2020, August 27). What Are Some Pros and Cons of the Common Core State Standards? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/common-core-state-standards-3194603 (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Resilient Educator. (2020). Four Ways Common Core Standards Will Impact Classroom Teachers. Retrieved from https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/four-ways-common-core-standards-will-impact-classroom-teachers/ (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Walker, T. (2013). 10 Things you should know about the Common Core. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2013/10/16/10-things-you-should-know-about-the-common-core/
· Explain how state standards came into existence.
It was a concern that the US Students were not meeting grade level.  Research was done comparing US to other countries and found that the US students are falling behind the benchmark compared to the students in the other countries.
· Discuss the impact of the standards movement on classroom instruction.
This has impacted the classroom in the beginning negatively and today the same. With the change in common core standards teachers struggled with meeting test scores and had to center the entire year on teaching to pass test in a haste manner. Children that were able to keep up were okay but others students that were not fell behind. Many teachers complained about the teaching style, and felt it was doing more harm than helping the students. This also took away the ability of parents being able to help their children due to the new learning style.
· How do the Common Core Standards intend to affect instruction in schools to meet both learner and societal goals?
· The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. (CCSSO, 2010, pp. 12–13). This plan is to meet both the learner and societal goals because it  is providing a platform where the community being teachers, parents and students can work together to educate the child which in turn will manifest in the productivity of the child in society. If this is true that is great, but I have not witnessed this in the schools and homes.
· What are some pros and cons of the Common Core Standards from your own point of view?
I am still observing the outcomes of common core, at this point  I am just watching, asking questions and, listening to the complaints of parents and teachers. I have not developed a solid opinion but where I stand now is to me it seems that common core has provided a more common problem that solution. How this will help us meet our benchmark in compared to the succeeding countries? I am not sure.
Chappuis, S., Commodore, C., & Stiggins, R. (2010). Assessment balance and quality: An action guide for school leaders (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall
Respond to at least two classmates’ postings.
What is the purpose of backward planning or backward design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)?
The appropriateness of this approach becomes clearer when educators consider that the educational purpose of teaching is student understanding. The backward design process focuses on outcome-based education, a term that refers to a student-centered, results-oriented design based on the belief that all individuals can learn. Every day, teachers design for students learning experiences intended to meet specified purposes.
The backward design process is to focus first on the desired learning and then let the appropriate teaching activities follow. Backward design is logical, but it goes against our common practices because teachers are used to jumping to lesson and activity ideas before considering assessment means. (Hansen, 2015)
Describe the stages of the backward design process.
Stage 1-Identify desired results-What knowledge, skills, and dispositions are needed for learners to “understand” the concepts?
Stage 2-Determine acceptable evidence-How will I measure if learners know what I want them to know?
Stage 3-Plan learning experience-What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare learners for the assessment?
How would you evaluate this approach to the curriculum? How does it affect student learning?
The Backwards Design can help point out milestones that need to be accomplished when achieving the overall goal, also help obtain personal satisfaction for the students when completing each individual step however it can be difficult and confusing in the beginning and can possibly take longer in time during the initial planning phases. This design is student-centered and in my opinion, student-centered means best practices. I think the teacher matters when implementing this design.
Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S.  (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
What is the purpose of backward planning or backward design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)?
Backward design or planning is a method where the goals are set first before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment. It focuses on the outcome-based education – which refers to a student-centered, results oriented design. This design is based the belief that “all individuals can learn” (Hansen, Buczynski & Puckett, 2015). Planning the process first by understanding what our end goal is, combined with what we are using as evidence to meet these learning goals is what we call backward designing. The five steps given by Wiggins & McTighe (2005) are:
Unearth it.
Analyze it.
Question it.
Prove it.
Generalize it.
Describe the stages of the backward design process.
Stage One: Identify Desired Outcomes and Results.
What knowledge, skills and dispositions are needed for leaners to comprehend the concepts?
Stage Two: Determine What Constitutes Evidence of Competency (Assessment)
How will educators measure the learning if they understand what they are being taught. This encourages educators tot think like assessors, not just teachers to make sure students understand what they are learning, while being able to apply the knowledge to new situations.
Stage Three: Plan Instructional Strategies and Learning Experiences
The goal of this stage is to develop and select learning activities. What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare learners for the assessment?
How would you evaluate this approach to curriculum? How does it affect student learning?
Educators and students are empowered with a focused learning which provides clear and concise learning outcomes. Students build skills and knowledge required to attain necessary learning goals. It provides minimal disruptions in the learning process, objectives are maintained, and educators are making use of time in the classroom by instructing the class, rather than planning.
Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S. (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu