The Expanded Core & The Common Core: What Should TVIs be Teaching?

This post offers suggestions of ways in which TVIs can integrate the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Dr. Sharon Sacks shares the powerpoint presentation she gave at CTEBVI in Los Angeles in April 2014.  The presentation reviews the components Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) and how it should be used with students with visual impairments.  It then provides an overview of the purpose and structure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and examines how it may change the way that TVIs (Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments) teach.  Finally, Dr. Sacks looks at strategies and lessons to integrate the ECC and CCSS.

She outlines the impact that the CCSS has on what TVIs teach:

  • TVIs need to be excellent collaborators with their general education colleagues.
  • When teaching students with visual impairments greater emphasis needs to be placed on problem solving & analysis. 
  • Hands-on instruction & experiential learning need to include more abstract ideas.
  • Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the use of assistive technology to access information & materials. 

Sacks then identifies additional shifts in teaching for TVIs:

  • TVIs will need to be good teachers of tactile graphics & spatial concepts
  • TVIs will need to design materials that bring abstract concepts to life
  • TVIs will need to provide students with knowledge about practical information: activities that occur on a daily basis

Dr. Sacks concludes that:

  • TVIs need to be knowledgeable about the ECC & the CCS
  • TVIs need to know how to integrate the ECC into the Common Core
  • TVIs need to re-focus how concepts & lessons are taught to students with visual impairments
  • TVIs need to incorporate assistive technology into every aspect of what they teach to students with visual impairments

The challenge for TVIs is to:

  • Find Common Core standards where ECC components can be taught.
  • Develop lessons that teach both the ECC & the Common Core.
  • Consider using strategies employed by UDL. 
  • Prepare students for Smarter Balanced Evaluations

    • Teaching use of braille displays
    • Teaching use of mouse
    • Teaching tactile graphics to access illustrations
    • Teaching text to speech
    • Teaching strategies to access all information presented on a page


ECC and CCSS collage