Will More Nonfiction Reading in School Lead to a Lack of Empathy?

The Common Core requires that teachers teach more nonfiction, but how will that affect students?


As people are experiencing fiction in their own ways, they are practicing empathy. The fiction they read allows them to experience life as someone else, or in a different time and place, and allows them to be more empathetic in their real lives. As a teacher, I want my students to be productive members of society who are prepared for life after high school, but I also want them to be good citizens who will help someone in need.

I want them to be able to think about their actions and how they affect the world around them and then make choices that benefit themselves, but also benefit the greater good. If we take fiction out of the curriculum, there is a danger that this will not happen. Teaching fiction is vital to creating well-rounded young adults, and is also necessary in practicing empathy.

by Ashley Lauren