Research indicates thatÂ school children and high school graduates are able to read words without understanding what they mean. Â Such “readers”Â lack a fund of common knowledge necessary toÂ getting meaning from a text that does more than present a narrow topic.
An adult level of literacy requires a reader to interpret allusions and figurative language. Students whose reading has been limited chiefly to “informational texts”Â and rarelyÂ exposed to literature and well-written nonfiction areÂ crippled by lack ofÂ background information.
The current notion that all the information anyone needs can be found by browsing the WebÂ is flawed.
Yes, it is wonderful to be able to look up facts with the click of a mouse. This ability is to be valued, but it does not cancel the need for children to acquire of fund of information they can retrieveÂ from their own minds.
Learning things by heart should be a basic ingredient at every level of education.
One of the glues holding a civilizationÂ together is a shared body of knowledge.