Dr. Edmundson says, “Real reading is… a higher form of conscientiousness.” He claims good literature allows one to experience “the joy of seeing the world through the eyes of people who … are more sensitive, more articulate, shrewder, more alive than they themselves are.” He says the “magic of words” unleashes the “power of imagination.” That is what students taught by Common Core Standards will miss because they have substituted so many informational texts instead of great literature.
The author criticizes group projects and classes that rely on the exchange of “student ideas.” Students don’t acquire the information that produces a worthwhile conversation. He also exhorts educators to stop “readings,” which are really deconstructing literary works from the perspectives of gender, race, Marxists, Freudian, and other artificial constructs that venture far from the author’s intent and show no respect for a book on its own merit.
The title of this book is Why Teach? In Defense of a Real Education by Dr. Mark Edmundson.
Listen to the radio commentary here: