A Neuroscientific Justification for Fiction in the Classroom

I’ve previously written about the need for fiction in the classroom. Well, it turns out it’s not just me postulating about its positive effects. There’s actually brain research on the implications of fiction and social interactions:

Individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective.

This is REALLY important. The Common Core State Standards are intended to increase the complexity of the texts read in younger grades, focusing increasingly on informational texts with the aim of getting kids ready for jobs, essentially. The likely effects are not going to be pretty, besides the fact that we’re developing kids who are going to be decreasingly empathetic:

Another potential indirect effect on students may be their motivation and engagement. we’re also going to make kids hate reading. Steve McLeod has more.

Is this really what we want?

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