What Jolliffe discusses in chapter 7, The Common Core Standards and Preparation for reading and Writing in College, brings attention to basic writers’ inability to sometimes explain conceptual understanding and demonstrate the ability to apply and build on complex topics with evidence. The Common Core standards guide has been recently adopted by policy makers to train instructors in Adult Education to ensure college readiness of learners. What seems most important in lesson planning (other than content) are the verbs a teacher may use to enhance students’ depth of knowledge such as: evaluate, analyze, synthesize, demonstrate, recall and apply. What some instructors discover is that students do not understand what these words mean when applied to practical application. However, students are encouraged to meet the standard, supersede it even, but not give to give up, because “contemporary college students’ reading abilities constitute a problem for their academic […] success” (137).
Also, these standards are associated with habits of mindfulness, so it would seem the Common Core is a guide to structured mindfulness in teaching and learning. Common Core standards have a common sense approach to developing students’ depth of knowledge, but (according to my Common Core standards trainer) the ‘creativity of the instructor’ also plays a role in how well students are able to apply and build on new skills. Creativity is the demonstration of original ideas, without the ingenuity of the instructor, students may miss out on learning opportunities due to lack of interest. That interest is created by students “grappl[ing] with works of exceptional craft [that] extends across genres, cultures, and centuries” (138). For the development of a syllabus or lesson plan the diversity of the lessons creates that extension. It has been stated by KLL that students’ miss out on learning opportunities by not learning things they are not interested in, I agree, but the dominating culture of literature in terms of what’s “in” and “out” makes the standard norm in range of exposure to various texts narrow. Maybe that restricted perspective may lead too much permanence in literature, which is why some outside of the field or basic writers think it is a ‘dead’ field.
The tenth anchor standard seems a bit restrictive in highlighting the “range and content” of student reading. The “range” consisted of “seminal U.S documents, the classics of American literature, and the timeless dramas of Shakespeare” (138). Doesn’t seem like much variety. So, where exactly does the Common Core standard hold up to leaving no child behind if every child isn’t included into the lessons they are learning? As the Common Core standards trainer would say ‘the creativity of the instructor’ comes into play here again. Of all the poetry, fiction, drama, and informational texts, the lesson planning would have to be inclusive of multiple types of authors outside of the “classics”. I do not argue to do away with the classics but how can students “integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as in words” by only engaging with the “classics” (140). Ideally, I’d cite a few quotes from an article arguing for more inclusiveness of diversity in English discourse from the ILA I came across last week, but will have to come back later and add those.