Dr Ernie Bond: Common Core – The Pleasures of Reading and the Publishing of Children’s Books

Roving Reporter: Caz Goodwin

Ernie Bond is Associate Professor of Education, Salisbury University, USA.  Ernie’s presentation covered the new Common Core Standards for English; these have been adopted by 45 states across the USA.

The key changes to the curriculum include:

  •  Focus on depth over breadth
  • Increased emphasis on non-fiction
  • Reading, writing and speaking as in evidenced in texts
  • Increasingly challenging readings and complex texts
  • Cross-disciplinary or trans-disciplinary learning

Implications for those in the book industry include:

  • Fewer books read in school
  • 50% of books in elementary (primary) may become non-fiction
  • 70% of books in high school may become non-fiction

Ernie’s students explained the 10 Anchor Standards for English

  • Ask and answer questions about key details
  • Retell stories/ideas using key detail
  • Identify literary elements including character, setting etc
  • Ask and answer questions about the words, and phrases in context
  • Recognise common types of text (formats, genres), and portions of text
  • Identify and define the roles the author and illustrator play and point of view
  • Describe the relationship between media in creating narrative, this includes visual literacy
  • Identify and critique the ideas/arguments in a book
  • Compare and contrast elements across books
  • Read and comprehend complex texts. This includes individuals and groups reading with purpose and understanding

Ernie’s informative and entertaining presentation left us agreeing with the National Literary Trust’s research that ‘we must see reading for pleasure as an activity that has real educational and social consequences.’

Caz Goodwin