Wednesday, March 10, 2010

History reading, science reading, and shared responsibility for literacy

In the new draft of the common core standards, the subject formerly known as "English/Language Arts" has become "English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies & Science."

That's because the draft models a bolder, deeper understanding of what students must know and be able to do to be ready for college and careers.   The introduction to the draft explains:
Literacy standards specific to history/social studies and science for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers in these areas using their unique disciplinary expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.
Part of the motivation behind the interdisciplinary approach to literacy promulgated by the Standards is extensive research establishing the need for college- and career-ready students to be proficient in reading complex informational text independently in a variety of content areas. Most of the required reading in college and workforce training programs is informational in structure and challenging in content; postsecondary education programs typically provide students with both a higher volume of such reading than is generally required in K–12 schools and comparatively little scaffolding.
We said we wanted deeper, more competitive standards, and this element definitely calls on our students and schools to aim higher.

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