A colleague and I just completed a study of the nature and variety of
pleasure adolescents take from their out-of-school reading that draws
on Dewey’s delineation of four kinds of educative interest in
/Interest and Effort in Education. /One kind of pleasure we
identified is what we call work pleasure in which readers use a text
as a tool to accomplish some other end. That’s the kind of pleasure
that Andy seems to be talking about when he writes about someone’s
struggling to read a philosophical text to get something out of it
that could then be usefully employed in some other context. But there
are other kinds of pleasure. As Dewey explains “There are cases where
action is direct and immediate. It puts itself forth with no thought
of anything beyond. It satisfies in and of itself. The end is the
present activity, and so there is no gap in the mind between means and
end. All play is of this immediate character.” Readers experience the
pleasure of play when they read narratives to immerse themselves in a
story world. What matters to them is the pleasure they get from
living through the experiences of characters in the here and now not
what they can accomplish as a consequence of their reading at some
future time. Another kind of pleasure is intellectual pleasure. Dewey
explains that “instead of thinking things out and discovering them for
the sake of the successful achievement of an activity (work
pleasure),” we may institute an activity for the intellectual pleasure
of figuring something out. An example would be reading to unravel the
complexities of poem as an end in itself. Finally there are social
pleasures in reading. People read to affiliate with others. That
seems to me to be a kind of pleasure people on this listserv take. Or
people read to mark their place in the world. They do a kind of
identity work by using their reading to assert their difference from
others. One of the informants in our study avoided reading the books
that were most popular among her friends and instead read what she
called dark fiction. That reading was an important part of how she
understood herself. As she said “I’m weird in the way that [I don't
have] inhibitions like most people. I can read dark fiction and not be
disturbed by it.” I’d argue that teachers are most likely to foster
motivation to read by creating contexts in which students can
experience all four kinds of pleasure.
On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 4:43 AM, rjsp2 <firstname.lastname@example.org
The first thing I thought on reading "assistance is given to kids to
read in order to find out something they want to know about the world"
was "This is basic Freire". Adult literacy had the same problem of
meaningless texts till Freire came along and started teaching them
things that mattered to them. It also made me reflect on the idea of
motive, whihc has for a long time been a question I have been
to examine "when I have time". When I met the activity triangle,
the most obvious issues about it was that it contains no separate
for motive. After a while that seemed logical because the motive
the object, and maybe one of our difficulties is that we separate
out from object in order to understand it better, and then forget
it back in again.
Children are just like people, they do need a reason to do things.
always been puzzled by the idea of andragogy, the suggestion that
learn differently from children. Proponents usually list several
which usually make no sense to me. One of the reasons usually given is
that adults need to know why they are doing something, the unspoken
contrast being presumably that children happily do what they're told.
The kind of research you refer to here, Andy, suggests that
need to know why they are doing something, but lack the power to
Hence, I think, a lot of the problems evident in our UK schooling
(lots of great schools, in my opinion, dreadful educational policies
dictate that children are machined through exams in order to maintain
the school's place in the league table. So there is a reason why the
children do what they do, it is just not relevant to the child.)
On 28/08/2013 08:27, Andy Blunden wrote:
Re: Peg Griffin -
and Peg and Mike et al: http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/NEWTECHN.pdf
The first article sets up a scenario in 5thD where kids
"sneak" a look
at piece of writing in order to find an answer to a current
question. As opposed to telling the kids to read a text and
example) testing them on it.
The second talks about "reading for meaning" where assistance
to kids to read in order to find out something they want to
the world. As opposed to decoding "Jack and Jill" stories
nothing of interest to them at all (and actually humiliating).
I am trying to get my head around the issue of the motivation
the teachers are trying to engender in the child which facilitates
learning to read.
Following A N Leontyev, Peg talks about the "merely
for the child "to be a productive, informed, literate citizen"
is what the education system is supposed to be doing. Peg says
motive was "in the social interactions and ready to replace the
'really effective' motives that got the kid to come to/put up
reading group." ... *in the social interactions*!
Generally speaking I think there is no doubt that the distinction
between "really effective" and "merely understood" motives is
and that in general children who have difficulty in reading,
for "effective" but "external" motives which do not succeed in
learning to read effectively. Further, the task of the teacher
or may be supposed to be to get the child to learn to read so
be a productive, informed, literate citizen." This objective is
somewhere in the complex of motives underlying a teacher's
certainly in 5thD, but I suspect often a "merely understood"
for many teachers, alongside earning a wage for their own family,
having a quiet day and the kids getting good test scores, etc.
But I question whether it is *ever* the child's motive "to be a
productive, informed, literate citizen." This may be an "internal
reward" for learning to read, but not for learning to read any
particular text or even a particular type of text.
Would this explanation make sense: Learning to read is like
It does not generally arise through being the motivation of the
activity which produces it. People learn to read as a byproduct of
struggling to get something they want out of particular texts. And
this applies to adults as much as children. I think people can
learn to read philosophy if they are struggling to get
of a book on philosophy (other than pass the exam or acquire
an air of
erudition). In Peg's email message we learn that the kids
the newspaper article to extract information they wanted in
took to be) /another/ task. In the QAR story, adults mediate kids'
relation to a text which is in turn mediating their real and
meaningful relation to the world. (I think if a kid is
motivated to pass a reading test, and assisted, they will usually
manage to learn to read, but it is for those for whom this doesn't
work that the issue arises, isn't it?)
But in general I think it is neither necessary nor likely that
has their eye on becoming a literate citizen when they
struggle with a
text and learn to read in the process. Isn't it always more
motives? The "internal" reward in reading a particular text is the
particular content of that text, not actually anything to do with
books, or texts, or reading or citizenship.
I know there are dozens of experts in literacy education out
please help me.
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