While it would be nice if I could figure out who “John” is who posted the following to the “Art of Learning” Facebook group, I agree with the sentiment nonetheless:
The Common Core will not prepare our students for the challenges of 21st century careers because it focuses primarily on text-based literacy skills that are more appropriate and suited for the 19th and early 20th century classroom and workplace. David Coleman, supports a “close reading” approach to literacy that was first introduced in the mid 1900’s. “He embraces what in the 1940′s and 1950′s was called New Criticism, a movement in U.S. universities that emphasized sticking tenaciously to the text of whatever one is reading…New Criticism cautions the reader not to go beyond the text to consider, for example, the biography of the author, the social or historical period in which he/she was writing, or, for that matter, even one’s own personal feelings, attitudes, and experiences in relation to the text.“
While supporters of the Common Core are quick to point out that there are also CCSS anchor standards for media literacy and 21st century skills, Appendix A clearly states that media other than text is inferior and not a priority when it comes to classroom activities and instruction. “These sources [video, podcasts…], while not without value, cannot capture the nuance, subtlety, depth, or breadth of ideas developed through complex text. As Adams (2009) puts it, “There may one day be modes and methods of information delivery that are as efficient and powerful as text, but for now there is no contest…”
While being able to use and understand words in text are no doubt still a basic part of communication and a fundamental literacy, we’re now coummicating and creating meaning in the world in interesting new ways that are profound and important and, as the author suggests, basically missing from the CCSS. And while reading and writing in traditional ways need to be mastered, using video and and audio and photos and other forms of multimedia to communicate ideas are now a requirement as well, a “common” requirement if you will. Note (again) the NCTE literacies, i.e. “Active, successful participants in this global society must be able to…create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts” among other things.
But since it’s not explicit in the standards, we’ll most likely leave that up to kids to figure out for themselves.