A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
Article on American Thinker explains why "close reading" is a misguided pedagogy.
If you are suspicious that Common Core contains lots of nasty little surprises, you will find confirmation.
The weird central premise of Close Reading is that children should read the same thing over and over again. Teachers are supposed to pick a small passage; then the kids read it over and over, day after day, doing supposedly high-level analysis of these few words.
This may be an appropriate activity at the college level when all students have become fast, confident readers.
It seems highly inappropriate when children are still in the process of learning to read. This is a technique for going deeper into meaning; it is not a technique for learning to read in the first place.
Ideally, there is a point early on when children start reading quickly; they gobble up books of all kinds, such as the Hardy Boys in an earlier time. The point is we want quantity, not quality. When children can pick up anything and read it quickly and confidently, then the school has achieved its goal.
What you have in Close Reading is a whole bunch of semi-literate children wallowing in one spot. Their deficiencies will be hidden by the fact that the whole thing is often a group activity. Furthermore, after a few days they will typically memorize the short passage but that doesn't mean they'll be able to read the next short passage.
"Close Reading is close to a con"
Note: this article attracted more than 115 smart comments.