Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Dozen Assertions About Reading Education

As part of my new book: Reading Workshop 2.0: Teaching Reading in the Digital Age, I decided to put all my deeply-held beliefs about reading education into one opening chapter. Here is the outline:

1. Teachers should understand that the primary goal of the Reading Workshop is to change the way we think and talk about texts from the ways we have traditionally thought and talked about texts in classrooms.

2. Teachers should teach reading comprehension as a process of generating, articulating, negotiating and revising interpretations and understandings within a community of readers.

3. Teachers should not ask readers to do things in the name of becoming a life-long reader that life-long readers would never tolerate.

4. Teachers should decrease the amount of time they spend standing in front of the whole class delivering lessons that work only for a few, and spend more time in small groups working at readers points of need.

5. Teachers should increase the variety and complexity of the texts made available to readers.

6. Teachers should decrease the dominance of the fictional novel in the reading curriculum to allow room for the other types of texts readers in contemporary society spend time reading.

7. Teachers should develop a sense of independence as readers in their children.

8. Teachers should organize their reading workshop in response to the needs, skills, and interests of the readers in their classrooms.

9. Teachers should learn how to facilitate sophisticated discussions about the texts being read.

10. Teachers should read aloud in their classrooms everyday from a variety of texts and for a variety of purposes.

11. Teachers should find ways to support an increase in the amount of reading children do.

12. Teachers should expand readers’ interpretive repertoires by developing a more sophisticated readers’ toolbox for children to draw upon.

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