Are We Reading Killjoys?

I posted a bit ago that the joy of reading seems to be dwindling, and Mr. Van Pelt has an ingenious new post using an analogy comparing the teaching of reading and the teaching of kissing. It’s a spectacular explanation for what teachers may unwittingly be doing.

In the future I may add some more thoughts on this, but I’m a tad tired here this evening. It’s bed time.


One thought on “Are We Reading Killjoys?

  1. mrschili

    He’s got a great point!

    I think it’s interesting that my fifth grader will happily disappear into a book (of her choosing) for hours at a time, but will kick and scream about reading an “assigned” book. I suspect that her reasons, if she could be meta enough to articulate them, are exactly what Van Pelt wrote – we’re not reading for the love of it, of for the gleaning of a story or an experience, but to “demonstrate mastery” of some or other skill.

    I try, whenever I can, to run my lit courses like book clubs. A lot of really great work gets done in my classes (though, to the woman who comes to observe and assess my teaching, it may not LOOK that way); my students think critically, they ask really exciting questions, and they learn to make important connections between the reading they’re doing and other experiences they’ve had. Isn’t that the POINT of reading? Isn’t that the point of LEARNING?!


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