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What English Classes Look Like in Common Core Era

What English Classes Look Like in Common Core Era

Common Core standards specify that students should be more focused on reading non fiction to best prepare them for higher education and future careers. The New York Times took a look at how the modern-day English classroom has evolved under the change in standards.

"The new standards stipulate that in elementary and middle school, at least half of what students read during the day should be nonfiction, and by 12th grade, the share should be 70 percent," the Times article said. On the one hand, some educators argue that this shift is especially important for elementary school learners who were traditionally not exposed to non-fiction works. One New York special education teacher said his students responded better to non-fiction, which "seemed more relevant to them."

Further, many educators claimed to be happy to do away with literature that did not interest students in favor of more contemporary non-fiction to spark engagement.

One teacher told The Times "she believed many students were more interested in talking about real-world issues like genetic testing than about how a character changed over the course of a novel."

But many experts and educators argue that without any indication from the standards as to what appropriate informational texts or documents might be, students are often given an influx of not relatable material.

"Without guidance from the Common Core standards themselves, [Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University] noted, the definition of informational texts 'very easily slides into blog posts — it shifts over to topical contemporary discussions of things,'" the article said.

Read more here, and take our poll to let us know what you think about English and the Common Core.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


Are you in favor of emphasizing non-fiction in English classrooms?

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