Education Standards

ELA Standards Address Digital Texts

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has gone public with its new standards for educators who are preparing to teach English language arts (ELA) in grades 7–12. Those standards, approved in July, include understanding how students learn from digital media.

The organization said in a statement that it believes the previous standards, released in 2012, needed an update. The new standards are more concise (the original seven have been reduced to five); give attention to antiracist/antibias instruction; and cover the use of digital media in the classroom, including both long-form films and brief videos, commercials, websites, interactive maps and timelines, databases, and other digital texts.

The new standards were created through a lengthy process involving "extensive review" by teachers and scholars nationwide. They're organized around the four Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) principles, grounded in the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and Learning Progressions for Teachers.

"Our field deals directly with the human condition through shaping the literate lives of our learners and is uniquely positioned to act on the complexities we collectively face," said NCTE President Alfredo Celedón Luján, in a statement. "Bigotry, discrimination, oppression, divisiveness, and racism are part of the world in which future teachers of English are working. These new standards seek to support educators as they prepare to go into the classroom."

"The young people that we teach should be at the heart of everything a teacher of English language arts does. Teachers should seek to develop learners who are creative, literate, agentive, compassionate individuals," added NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick.

The conference, delivered virtually this year and focused on "equity, justice and antiracist teaching," will address the new standards in several sessions.

The standards are openly available on the NCTE website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.