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ERIC Number: EJ974524
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar-14
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Districts Gird for Added Use of Nonfiction
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v31 n24 p1, 14-15 Mar 2012
An intensifying focus for teachers across the country is how to develop students' skills at reading and understanding informational texts. Teachers are rebalancing their fiction-and-nonfiction scales because the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts demand it. Since all but four states have adopted those guidelines, millions of teachers are now faced with the challenge of revising materials and instruction accordingly. As states and districts press more deeply into informational text, however, some experts are cautioning them to maintain a proper balance with fiction. The common standards' emphasis on informational text arose in part from research suggesting that employers and college instructors found students weak at comprehending technical manuals, scientific and historical journals, and other texts pivotal to their work in those arenas. Influencing the standards, also, were the frameworks for the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, which reflect an increasing emphasis on informational texts as students get older. They draw equally from informational and literary passages at the 4th grade level. But by 8th grade, the tilt toward informational reading reaches 55 percent, and by 12th grade, it's 70 percent. The common core's vision of informational text includes literary nonfiction, as well as historical documents, scientific journals and technical manuals, biographies and autobiographies, essays, speeches, and information displayed in charts, graphs, or maps, digitally or in print. Helping students tackle complex examples of such genres across the disciplines--from English to engineering--bolsters them for work and higher education by building foundational knowledge, vocabulary, and literacy strategies, common-core advocates contend. Many states and districts are responding to the new emphasis on nonfiction with new materials and training.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress