For those of us who received an education, reading books have always been an essential part of our learning. As we get older, we learn to analyze the texts for explicit and implicit nuances. We are asked about its tone, mood, theme, literary devices, etc, many of which have a defined by-the-book answer.
It’s simpler that way, but we also lose something.
What is it? Read on.
The one aspect that educational institutions enforce in reading early is our affective and emotional responses. Don’t you remember the questions asking you, “How did you feel about this book?,” “Did this book make you feel happy or sad?” or “What do you want to do after reading this book?”
It’s not surprising these questions start to fade away as we move further up the echelons of education. The questions no longer consider your own responses, but rather, what the books are trying to tell you. Teachers aren’t the central problem to this; in fact, the education system itself may be to blame. Why? We need clear answers to our questions. Schools can’t fail you for feeling sad reading a book rather than feeling happy, but they can fail you for questions that have a general consensus.
Why Is This Important?
Why does it feel as if the further some students get in the academic ladder, the more dissatisfied they are with what they read? Why do stereotypes exist of disgruntled students sleeping through their English classes? People are uninvolved and disconnected from what they read. There is no longer an emphasized relationship between the text and the reader, but an interrogation of the pieces of evidence and fact we can extract from the text.
What Can We Do To Make Reading Better?
A few ways of engaging student interest in the reading material revolves around one central thing: stimulating involvement. Activities such as journals, plays, or small creative projects are some of the many ways to reinvigorate interest in dull books. After all, most people read to enjoy the book they are reading, rather than trying to find the right answer in every nook and cranny within pages. Engaging the student body in a way that can emotionally tie them to the realms of literature they encounter is one way to treat the omission and reduction of adolescent/adult affective responses.
How do you believe the educational system should step in and make school reading more intriguing? What changes would you like to see in your classrooms?
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