The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) published a position statement on Tuesday that has decided reading books and writing essays is overrated and that it’s time to “decenter” those traditional activities.
The new emphasis focused on the need to increase focus on digital media and popular culture.
“Students should examine how digital media and popular culture are completely intermingled with language, literature, and writing. The time has come to decenter book reading and essay writing as the pinnacles of English language arts education,” the statement read.
Literacy is expanding. ELA educators must help learners develop knowledge, skills & competencies needed in a digital & mediated world. We address 3 core themes that make media education fundamental to teaching & learning in ELA in a new position statement: https://t.co/Olbiwar4ru pic.twitter.com/1cAOeBYzIP
— NCTE (@ncte) April 12, 2022
The statement also claimed its position was needed to help “address inequalities” regarding digital technologies.
“To address inequalities in digital technologies and competencies, continuing curricular innovation in the ELA curriculum at all levels of K–12 education is needed,” the statement noted.
Reading and writing are now apparently insufficient for the public education of students in language arts.
“Educators value the use of teaching and learning practices that help to identify and disrupt the inequalities of contemporary life, including structural racism, sexism, consumerism, and economic injustice,” the statement highlighted.
One Twitter user took to social media to declare that not all educators agree with the council’s new statement.
“This is so disheartening,” he wrote alongside a link to the statement.
“The time has come to decenter book reading and essay writing as the pinnacles of English language arts education.”
This is so disheartening.https://t.co/RuW6ptbnDl
— Matt Ryan hosts #CanonChat (@MatRyanELATeach) April 13, 2022
The emphasis on race, sexual orientation, gender, and social justice continues to find more ways to enter America’s classrooms, including language arts.
The “woke” trend has led several states to push for laws to remove teaching regarding certain areas from classrooms, such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), or sexual orientation and gender identity to younger students.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced earlier in April an executive order to ban the teaching of CRT in the state’s K-12 schools.
Noem addressed the topic during a town hall discussion with residents in Mobridge. The governor shared a video from the event on social media featuring her upcoming signing.
Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education.
That’s why yesterday I announced I will be signing an executive order to ban the teachings in our K-12 schools. pic.twitter.com/nPYye6E4oT
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) April 5, 2022
“Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education,” Noem wrote.
“I brought two bills this legislative session that banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in our classrooms, in our K-12 schools and another one that banned it in our universities,” the governor said in the video.
“The legislature supported and passed it and I signed into law the university one. So now, in South Dakota going forward, Critical Race Theory cannot be taught in our universities. They killed the K-12 one. So tomorrow, I will be signing an executive order to make sure that Critical Race Theory is not taught in our public school systems, too,” she added.