Monday, September 24, 2012

Preventing Readicide

As I began searching out relevant books and articles related to promoting reading and reading programs, I kept coming across references to Kelly Gallagher's book, Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It.  Gallagher is a high school English teacher as well as an author and literacy expert.  Readicide is "the systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools."  This definition is provocative, but, unfortunately, it is true for many schools.  I was excited to get a copy of Readicide through my public library ILL program and have already started reading it.  This book would be of interest to teachers, librarians, parents, and anyone else interested in promoting a lifelong love of reading. From what I have read so far, once U.S. students are hitting 7th grade, their time spent reading for pleasure drops precipitously.  Gallagher provides some solutions that might help stem this "reading crisis" and encourage continued literacy at all ages.


Kelly Gallagher's website

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to create readers?

As the semester continues, I am working on altering my initial ideas for a research proposal.  In my last post I referred to a possible study on the "impact of restricting students' reading choices on their reading skills and future reading for pleasure".  While I still feel this is an important topic that calls for research, evaluation, and action (!), I believe that this statement reflects my own preconceived notions about school reading programs.  Perhaps, I need to study what "works" instead of just focusing on what is wrong.  This approach raises a number of questions I would love to explore:

  • How are readers created?  
  • What influences some children to love reading while others loathe it?  
  • Is it solely based on ability?  
  • How important is the home environment at influencing reading?  
  • What can schools and school libraries do to overcome deficits in terms of early exposure to books and literacy?
  • How can librarians best provide materials of interest to students with varied backgrounds and reading abilities?
For the moment, I will focus on seeking out literature related to best practices for cultivating lifelong readers.