Janice Campbell gets to the heart of what’s wrong with Common Core Standards. Yes, our type of education far surpasses CCS. We don’t have to worry about “our ways” not being “better” than it. The key problem is in what is required. And requirements take time. The minutes – hours you spend working on their requirements, the trivial, are minutes – hours – that are not spent on the worthy. It is wasted time and wasted minds. Just as time spent doing busy-work workbook pages or twaddle reading – or watching twaddle TV or playing videos games for that matter – steals time from the worthy, and creates tastes for the lesser, so is the goal of CCS.
If the goal is to cause students to tune out and despise the art of reading, that [the CCS required types of reading] is exactly the type of text that is needed. Rather than grappling with big, meaty ideas such as truth, justice, and integrity, students will be provided with the mental equivalent of rabbit pellets. Every trivial piece of nonsense students are forced to cover steals time from something more valuable. [emphasis mine]
Quoting from Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, she goes on to show the folly of this approach:
“‘Fact, fact, fact!’ said the gentleman. And ‘Fact, fact, fact!’ repeated Thomas Gradgrind.
‘You are to be in all things regulated and governed,’ said the gentleman, ‘by fact. We hope to have, before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people to be a people of fact, and of nothing but fact.”
C. S. Lewis described imagination as ‘the organ of meaning,” and he was right. Great literature engages both mind and heart, evokes interest, and sparks connections in memory. A reduced focus on literature and story means a reduction in the understanding of metaphor, and the ability to think abstractly. [emphasis mine]
And that is why we use real, living books in Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™, always have and always will.