Real World Teenagers Don’t Read Stuff They Don’t Choose

 

The Common Core Standards are raising hackles again. This time, because the architect of the standards, David Coleman believes that it inauthentic to do pre-reading before teens dive into a scintillating textbook piece.

Coleman is against these methods because he says they’re not how real readers read. He argues that people in the real world do not have background knowledge before they read. They don’t make predictions or think about themes. He says, imagine if we were watching a movie and he kept stopping it to make predictions and ask questions. He says that we would throw him out immediately.

The problem with his premise?  Real world teens don’t pick up pieces you’d find in a textbook. They don’t choose the material, so there is no interest on their part in reading it. That’s where the teacher comes in by “selling” the piece to increase interest and motivation. Pre-reading strategies are how that gets done. People don’t go to a movie they don’t want to see, but we ask teens everyday to read pieces they don’t want to read. That’s difference, and it’s huge.

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