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In 2011, the architect of the Common Core State Standards, David Coleman, taught a lesson to a group of teachers that has since sparked controversy over whether the standards are the best way to reform American classrooms.

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In the lesson, Coleman highlighted two new ways of doing things under the Common Core: a shift to more nonfiction, informational texts and a push to do more teaching, class discussions and writing that are focused on evidence from the readings (and not the prior experiences or ideas of the students or teacher).

“This is not the only way,” Coleman said at the outset. But he also criticized practices that are popular in many English language arts classrooms across America, including providing students context about what they’re going to read before they start, helping them with pre-reading strategies (such as predicting what a text will say), and asking students to focus on specific elements (such as the main idea, character or structure) as they read.

Watch a video of Coleman’s presentation here:

Bringing Common Core to Life from PARCC on Vimeo.

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Sarah Garland is the executive editor of The Hechinger Report. She started out in journalism reporting on murders and mayhem in New York City for New York Newsday and the New York Times, before joining...

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