Campus News

Stranger than fiction

A November article from Education Week explored an argument over the Common Core State Standards in grade school and the introduction of more nonfiction reading in the classroom.

That move comes as more employers and college professors are concerned that high school graduates cannot analyze nonfiction material well. On the other side, some education advocates are arguing that reducing exposure to literature hurts academic growth.

In the article, Stephanie Jones, an associate professor in the College of Education’s department of elementary and social studies education, weighed in on arguments about whether literature was being unwisely pushed aside in favor of nonfiction.

Jones took the middle ground in the argument.

“I don’t know why this dichotomy has been constructed in a way that is so divisive. It’s very unhelpful,” said Jones. “We shouldn’t teach kindergartners as if they’re going to join the workforce next year. But it won’t hurt us to make sure we are emphasizing nonfiction a little more in K-5. And I don’t think fiction has to be edged out at all.”