Essential Question: When studying a story or an essay, is it possible to be too concerned with what the author is saying?
In an opinion piece in Education Week, Maja Wilson and Thomas Newkirk complain the publisher’s criteria for Common Core State Standards are overly “text dependent,” discouraging students from bringing their own knowledge and opinions to bear on their reading.
Summary: What often gets lost in our rush to engage young readers and make their reading personally relevant is the simple fact that text has communicative value. When someone commits words to print, they mean to communicate facts, ideas, imagery or opinions. They should expect, if they’ve done their job well, to be understood. Might the reader have a response? Let’s hope so. But unless they have understood the author’s words and intent clearly, any response they make is less than satisfying and may not be particularly relevant as a “response.”
The bottom line: Demonstrating comprehension based on what a text says is not a problem. It’s a baseline skill for any literate human being.
A Little More Text, A Little Less Self
by Robert Pondiscio
December 19th, 2011
Core Knowledge Blog