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Bob Shepherd: Humans Tell Stories

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bob Shepherd, veteran designer of curriculum, texts, and educational publishing, explains here why the Common Core is wrong to favor informational text over fiction, argument over narrative.

Shepherd writes:

One of the many things that Coleman didn’t know about ELA (one could make a very long list there) is that getting a handle on narrative is essential. He decided unilaterally, for the rest of us, to de-emphasize narrative in favor of argument.

Narrative is arguably the primary means by which we make sense of the world. Let me tell you a story

Not so long ago. . .

the world was completely different.

Anatomically modern humans have existed for about 200,000 years.
But only since the end of the eighteenth century has artificial lighting been widely used. Gas lamps were introduced in European cities about that time, and electric lights came into use only in the twentieth century.

In other…

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#NativeAmerican Ways of Educating

Cloaking Inequity

The United States consists of lands that have been considered home to American Indians for thousands of years. Given this continuous relationship to the land there are orientations within American Indian culture that not only honor nature but that promote a relationship of engagement and harmony with the earth that calls upon one’s observational and mindful capacities. This culturally grounded worldview has inherent value for not only American Indian children but all children who now call this land their home. A world view that enhances relational skills with the earth promotes a framework that respects the existence of all living things; understands one’s reciprocal relationship with the earth; the impact that humanity has on the earth and its resources; our obligation in protecting her as well as our responsibility in healing her when humans fail to protect her. These understandings are most activated when in relation to the Earth. Conversely…

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