46 out of 50 states have decided to change the curriculum, requiring 70% of books to be non-fiction. Most notably, Catcher In The Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird will be replaced with plant inventory. Of course, this makes many people, who haven’t read either, extremely angry. Claims that this will stifle creativity in children are being sung from the ramparts.
In my not-so-humble opinion, the internet has proven that we are not lacking in creativity and that the world has plenty of artists, comedians, entertainers, and poets already. What we lack are intelligent people who can form sentences that don’t involve using an overdose of caps lock and emoticons. Plants? Sure. I can think of plenty of times when I wish I knew what the hell was growing all around me. Instead, I was taught an extensive course on To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that neither moved me nor had a lasting impression on me or my classmates.
Some people are saying it’s a move to prepare more people for the workplace. Okay… well, good right? I don’t know how much stock I put in that opinion though as I’ve never been asked to identify an invasive plant species while ringing up customers. I doubt kids will care either. With the choices of being bored vs being bored being their main options it seems like they are in for one roller-coaster of a curriculum.
Hopefully the school system won’t back down against what I assume will be an interesting backlash, but you never know. The new changes won’t take place until 2014 so there is plenty of time to argue. And argue we must though! Will removing certain fiction books really hurt child creativity? Or will it harbor in a new age of intelligence.
Probably neither. 75% of the kids will sleep through class and learn just as little as they always have. But maybe…. just maybe… there will be kids who can warn me before I use poison oak as toilet paper. What about you? Are children truly missing out on classics that will change their life or does it not matter?