In the past week, the cyber conversation about the Common Core State Standards’ call for increased reading of nonfiction texts in English Language Arts has intensified.
- What’s important to keep in mind, however, is that the CCSS are not asking us to abandon the reading of literature.
- Recent evidence of the potential benefits of reading fiction appeared in last Sunday’s New York Times. In an op-ed piece entitled “Your Brain on Fiction,” Annie Murphy Paul summarizes findings from neuroscience on how sensory language and figures of speech stimulate the brain and how the overlap between the neural networks that process stories and real-life social interactions can help improve our social skills and empathy.
- While Appendix A of the CCSS document does not reference these studies, half of the reading standards pertain to the reading of literature.