Meeting Readers Where They Are

Carol Gordon wrote an interesting article in November 2010 School Library Journal, examining 7 commonly held beliefs about reading and what studies show in relation to those beliefs:

teenreading1. Young people get better at reading by reading, just as they learn by doing

2. The social aspects associated with reading are motivational

3. Free choice is a factor in reading motivation

4. Free voluntary reading is as effective, or more effective, than direct instruction

5. People will read when they have access to reading materials

6. It is important to design inclusive summer reading for all students

7. The pleasure hypothesis – reading is its own reward

“Meeting readers where they are, rather than expecting them to meet us where we think they should be, is critical to reading motivation. . . What do successful reading motivation strategies have in common with why tweens and teens like being online? Whether teens are reading a book or blogging, they like interactive, hands-on experiences. They thrive on social interaction and inclusiveness. They are self-directed learners who know free choice is part of being creative. Teens expect access to books and computers. School librarians aren’t trapped by institutionalized beliefs about reading. Rather, school librarians are empowered to promote reading, not as a school subject that’s mandated, practiced, and tested, but as a personal experience that fulfills intellectual and emotional needs.”

Read the entire article here.

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