Introduction

The Pearson System of Courses is a vertically and horizontally aligned system that supports student learning, motivation, and engagement by integrating:

  •  A coherent curriculum in Mathematics K–11 and ELA K–12, with course objectives and outcomes that closely mirror the vertical progression of the Common Core State Standards.
  • Effective and engaging teaching, based on years of research on how people learn. This teaching happens within a classroom design that leverages social collaboration and pushes students to increasingly take responsibility for their own learning.
  • A unique digital design created expressly to make use of digital tablets and the latest mobile and digital technologies that students use every day.

Students benefit from a rich interactive experience. Teachers receive the learning materials and tools they need to unlock the potential of the Common Core State Standards.

Built From the Ground Up by Leading Experts

Led by Dr. Judy Codding, a national leader in standards-based education and comprehensive school reform, the Pearson System of Courses is not a repurposed or realigned set of instructional materials, but an entirely new, comprehensive approach to providing the innovative curriculum, tools, and resources school leaders and classroom teachers need to guide student achievement in relation to the Common Core State Standards.

Phil Daro, one of the leaders and writers of the Common Core State Standards Initiative for Mathematics, has guided the design of the Pearson System of Courses for Mathematics, with oversight from an international advisory board.

Dr. Sally Hampton, one of the leaders and writers of the Common Core State Standards Initiative for ELA, has guided the design of the Pearson System of Courses for ELA, with oversight from a national board of advisors.

More Than Aligned

A Brand-New System for Learning

The Pearson System of Courses ensures that students in every grade focus on the important ELA and Mathematics content of the Common Core State Standards to build the knowledge they need to be college- and career-ready. Lessons within each ELA and mathematics course at every grade level are carefully sequenced to build proficiency with the critical areas identified by the Common Core State Standards.

Innovative tools help students develop the essential academic behaviors required by the Common Core State Standards while they learn the rigorous content. Students work collaboratively on tasks and projects using digital apps. They argue and justify their thinking across social networks as well as in class. They present their work using multimedia and digital tools, and they play engaging ELA and math games.

The Pearson System of Courses:

  • Develops academic discourse by creating opportunities for students to improve their presenting, reasoning, and justifying skills.
  • Promotes dynamic collaboration by encouraging interaction among student groups and student pairs.
  • Supports peer feedback by making it possible for students to share ideas with small working groups, partners, and collaborative teams.
  • Follows a rigorous course structure that requires increasing student responsibility and independence in tackling and completing tasks within and across units.

A Comprehensive System for Teaching

The Pearson System of Courses also ensures that teachers have the tools and supports they need to meet the Common Core State Standards.

Teachers can access these supports each time they encounter one of the repeated classroom instructional routines that serve as building blocks for student achievement.

The Pearson System of Courses:

  • Incorporates easy-to-employ unit and lesson designs that foster a classroom learning community based on teacher-student and student-student collaboration.
  • Provides digital tools for grouping students and for delivering small-group instruction or conferences based on prior performance.
  • Offers in-line teacher supports that make it easy to present unfamiliar learning content or concepts to the whole class.
  • Presents specific scaffolds for students needing more support with the core content.
  • Establishes clear opportunities to extend and deepen learning for students who demonstrate proficiency.
  • Supplements this collection of in-class support with extended digital professional development that integrates in-line teachers’ notes, videos, and a teacher community portal, including self-paced learning tools and online seminars, in addition to direct face-to-face training.

 

Rooted in Research

Over the past two decades, a substantial body of educational research has emerged, demonstrating that students learn best when they have a strong teacher who centers instruction on a rich and challenging curriculum—all within the context of a collaborative community that fosters the expression and application of important ideas.

The Pearson System of Courses, designed with this research in mind,
is built on three central tenets:

The teacher matters most.

Studies demonstrate that the teacher is the most important school-based factor in improving student achievement. For this reason, we have designed the Pearson System of Courses to support the work of the effective teacher. It suggests lines of questioning, helps teachers set up individual and group activities, and provides formative assessments that give teachers fast and accurate feedback.

We learn with and through others.

The last 30 years have witnessed a dramatic shift from the perception of the student as a solitary learner to an understanding of the student as someone who learns best in a collaborative community. The Pearson System of Courses, like the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), is built on the premise that students need to be able to discuss, justify, and explain their thinking, and in doing so, contribute to the learning of others. Students’ use of devices is important not just for content delivery, but also for facilitating important interactions within the classroom community.

The curriculum matters.

Research demonstrates that rigorous content, aligned to rigorous standards like the CCSS, must be the focus of the curriculum. By “rigorous,” what’s intended is a “thinking” curriculum that is appropriately high in cognitive demand—a curriculum that students are expected to learn and apply. The Pearson System of Courses provides an instructional foundation—along with standards, assessments, and professional development—that helps students master the more demanding requirements of the CCSS.

The Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles Behind the Pearson System of Courses

School districts face a number of challenges as they begin implementing the CCSS for ELA and Mathematics. The creators of the Pearson System of Courses know about these challenges firsthand from their years of work as teachers and administrators in school improvement, large-scale systemic change, and international benchmarking.

The Challenges Schools Face…

  •  A wide range of student proficiencies in each classroom.
  • A motivation gap among students whose digital experience outside the classroom is richer, more personalized, and more dynamic than the impersonal and passive ways they are asked to learn inside the traditional classroom.
  • A lack of coherence in curricula, in general, within the United States.
  • A significant need for teacher support, because to teach using the CCSS for ELA and Mathematics demands major changes in the way students learn and teachers teach.
  • A lack of awareness among parents and communities about these new expectations for their children.

…And the Guiding Principles that Address Them

  • College and career readiness, as measured by mastery of the CCSS for ELA and Mathematics, is the right goal for all students. The educational ecosystem is an integrated, coherent system of standards, curriculum, assessment, instruction, and professional development.
  • Instruction and assessment are designed to continuously improve teaching and learning.
  • The curriculum enhances teacher capacity by offering delivery and content supports as part of daily instruction and readily accessible, on-demand professional development on an ongoing basis.
  • The curriculum promotes positive student academic behaviors through a motivating and engaging digital classroom grounded in a real-world context.
  • Curriculum and instruction are directly tied to the CCSS for ELA and Mathematics by reflecting the learning progressions both within and between courses and grades.
  • The digitized curriculum maximizes coherence, fosters student engagement, and promotes the measurement of deeper learning.

Technology is used systematically to support these beliefs within the Pearson System of Courses.

About the Technology

The Pearson System of Courses integrates technology to provide students the opportunity to build academic behaviors within each course and across all grade levels. Technology is used where it has the most power to enrich the social, collaborative nature of learning, enhance student interactions with the content, and support the academic behaviors that are explicit throughout the Pearson System of Courses.

The design and content of the Pearson System of Courses provide the following features:

  • Scaffolds. In the lessons on the tablet, students get the help they need just in time to master and apply rigorous Pearson System of Courses content and skills, become critical thinkers and independent learners, and take ownership of their learning.
  • Personalization. Support for tutoring and computer-assisted instruction, coupled with effective classroom practice and social learning, helps teachers deliver a new level of personalization. In addition, suggested interventions help teachers meet the needs of all students—including English language learners (ELLs), students with disabilities (SWDs), and gifted and talented learners.
  • Feedback. Following assessments on the tablet, students get feedback on their performance, and teachers can view real-time updates.
  • Engagement. The System of Courses creates a motivating digital classroom and collaborative culture. Evidence-based instructional routines set the pace, and dynamic technology engages students through video, writing, and presentation software, animations and simulations, interactive software, games, social media, assessment, and writing tools.
  • Teaching supports. Woven into the design of each lesson and unit are delivery and content supports intended to aid teachers’ work with students.
  • Community. Schools can use the communication tools and resources in the Pearson System of Courses to engage parents and build a stronger community.

Comprehensive Teacher Support

Teacher-Focused Design Principles

To help with implementation, the Pearson System of Courses offers contextual supports. For example, in-line teaching supports are embedded within the instructor version of student materials. Teachers also have access to relevant supports each time they encounter one of the classroom instructional routines—the building blocks of student achievement—and can add notes and comments to those supports.

To support classroom practice, the Pearson System of Courses provides the following:

  • Easy-to-use unit and lesson designs that foster a classroom learning community based on teacher-student and student-student collaboration.
  • In-line supports that make it easy for teachers to present unfamiliar learning content or concepts to the whole class.
  • Digital tools that enable teachers to weigh prior performance as they group students and deliver small-group instruction or conferences.
  • Specific scaffolds for students needing more support with the core content. For example, digitally delivered questions, prompts, and cues guide, but do not direct, students with their work.
  • Clear opportunities to extend and deepen learning for students who demonstrate proficiency.
  • Extended professional development through digital notes, videos, and a teacher community portal.

In addition, extensive professional development, teacher support, and explanatory resources are available for teachers.

An Educational Ecosystem

To supplement the Pearson System of Courses, there are two robust web environments—one for English Language Arts and one for Mathematics—each designed to extend student learning on the web. Each constellation of supplemental websites works together to create an educational ecosystem, promoting student choice and differentiation, and helping students to further explore the concepts, topics, and themes that interest them.

More to Explore

More to Explore engages students with a variety of texts, additional videos, games, and challenges that correlate with work presented within an ELA unit. See more-to-explore.com

Concept Corner

Concept Corner makes it possible for teachers and students to explore additional explanations, videos, and sample problems that correspond with the key mathematical concepts that shape their classroom work. See conceptcorner.com