Saturday, February 8, 2014

Two-bit Literary Jargon

The closing paragraph from chapter six of Dr. Moore's, The Story-Killers should prompt every English teacher to be wary of the Common Core State Standards and realize the need for truly authentic, literary discussions.

The authors of the Common Core project the same false images on the walls of our intellectual cave that progressive education has projected for decades. What young people need and want is not a contrived conversation about "characterization" but a real conversation about character. What young men and women need and want is not a lot of hokum about "setting" but a genuine discussion of families and friendships and moral and civic duty and love and happiness. What interests every student I have ever met is not some artificial commentary on "plot" but the close study of actions and their consequences. These conversations are the result of the genuine reading of the great books and the great events - the great stories - of our tradition. If we kill off these stories by replacing them bit by bit with insignificant drivel, and by chopping up those stories that remain into a lot of two-bit literary jargon, we will lose those books, and in doing so we may very well lose the minds and hearts of our children (167-168).

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