Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why the Common Cores move from novels is wrong!

One of the biggest concerns that people have with the Common Core is the obsession with non-fiction and teaching students to learn to read instruction manuals.  

Because the actual Common Core exams have not yet been formulated, there is no list of what literature students may or may not be tested on. But critics say the stated policy of emphasizing "informational," or non-fiction reading, in English will inevitably come at the expense of literature classics. Those time-tested books are not simply fun to read, according to Brigham Young University English Prof. Alan Manning, they teach students how to write. 
"An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than fewer exercises where students write stories themselves that are modeled on the classics," Manning wrote in an e-mail to Utah activists opposed to Common Core. "This creates a more stable foundation on which students can build skills for other kinds of writing. The Core standards would prevent public schools from testing these kinds of approaches."
It turns out that if you want to expand children and adults' minds, you should read more novels and more fiction!  A recent study was completed examining the impact that reading a fictional novel can have the brain of the readers.  

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” Berns said. 
“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”
I guess we will read this non-fictional study about why we should be reading more fiction in the classroom. 

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