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Thursday, April 7, 2011

End Readicide

Watch Kelly talk.  Talk, Kelly, talk.

See Kelly run.  Run, Kelly, run...

Well, you can watch Kelly Gallagher talk in two very short videos (to the right) about his book called Readicide.  Gallagher is a longtime educator who argues that schools are performing mass destruction on the joy of reading.

You can also see Kelly "run" with this argument in the attached interview.  Click on the link below.


I could summarize it for you in Sparknote fashion, but then you wouldn't be able to see Kelly run.  Hopefully, the short videos will spark your interest to read more - starting with the attachment (it should take fewer than five minutes to read).

Mark Twain once said that there is really little difference between someone who can't read and someone who won't.  According to Gallagher, too many of us simply won't.  It's already disheartening enough that some can't.  For the many who won't, the joy is gone.  And the consequences of this are now upon us.

It's a problem, at least in Gallagher's view.  He says that the solution clearly rests with all of us.  It's not a problem for the English teachers alone to solve.  Rather, all teachers own it.  And so do parents.

If you've made it this far, perhaps you'd be willing to share your thoughts.  Do it in a few short sentences - like the ones you encountered when you first learned to read. 

Can reading be saved?

1 comment:

  1. Reading for entertainment is only one form of entertainment available to people today- of any age. When there were fewer choices for entertainment, books had larger audiences, and of the few choices available, books were one of the most portable. You could climb a tree or sit beneath one and read to your hearts content. Now there are smart-phones, twitter, Facebook, and an array of ways to chat with friends, neighbors, and people around the world. Books do not flicker and play before the eyes, like movie screens, televisions and computer screens do. A person has to really want to read a book to overcome the visual distractions of other media and of the buzzing of the IM on the cell.
    All of this is true even before we begin to talk about school related reading and the impact of mandatory, standardized testing. The pressure and hectic nature this creates for schoolkids only contributes to their desire to engage in more passive forms of entertainment. Breaking that cycle becomes the challenge. With the demands created by seemingly endless testing, reading for entertainment (or for relaxation) may not really set in until after kids get out of school. Even then, reading is still only one option for entertainment