[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: A Question about Reading and Motivation


I have wondered if in a culture where hunting with bows and arrows is
valued, the child grows ups motivated to be skilled with using a bow. Is
the motivation *learning to read* the identification of wanting to be like
the others who participate in your world.
In our culture, [especially within schools], if reading is the way people
participate in sharing narrative than this MODE of communication is
valued. Is identification with doing what others are doing a motivation?

Beginning reading activity is a form of collaboration. As you mentioned,
collaboration may be master/slave, producer/consumer, or collaboration per
se. However, the activity *learning to read* can be displayed in all three
types of collaboration. The motivation is identification WITH ...??? in all
3 types of collaboration.


On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> So what this leads to is that my earlier formulation of motivations for
> reading which can create the conditions for someone to "learn to read" has
> to be generalised. And I guess that different "interests" or "pleasures" to
> be had from reading can be used to make an effective motive for reading.
> But I am trying to put my finger on the differene between offering a
> "reward" for reading and the object which turns out to be attainable
> essentially only through reading, be that the satisfaction of solving an
> integral equation, or the joy of entering Jane Austen's world or simply
> being able to read what everyone is talking about. Does this mean that the
> teacher's task is to somehow allow the learner, with assistance, to get a
> taste of that object, whichever it is that turns on this reader?
> Andy
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> mike cole wrote:
>> Yes, once one learns to read for meaning in Dewey's sense, and mine,
>> marvelous things may result.
>> The acquisition of reading, however, is not governed by phylogenetic
>> constraints in the same way that the acquisition of oral/sign language is.
>> It is a cultural-historically developed mode of mediated meaning making.
>> With few exceptions, it requires literate others to arrange for it to
>> happen.
>> Consequently, getting there through the meat grinder of modern schooling,
>> is a continuing
>> issue. As is the notion of the violence of literacy.
>> mike
>> (The Dickens freak)
>> On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 4:51 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     Thank you Michael! It is always such a wonderful thing when
>>     someone reveals to you what was before your eyes but you didn't
>>     see! I had to put down a novel to read your message. I think I
>>     take "the world" to be inclusive of imaginative world evoked by a
>>     text, and suddenly, yes, I can see that youngsters generally read
>>     lots of fiction and if they enjoy it, that is a royal road to
>>     becoming a reader - even though, in a sense, the printed words
>>     disappear under their gaze as they evoke that imaginary world. I
>>     also think the social motivations are broadly covered by my
>>     initial very 'utilitarian' view of the object of reading. But what
>>     you describe as "the intellectual pleasure of figuring something
>>     out," which I guess is one of the things that used to motivate me
>>     at school with maths, and that is something else! Thank you. The
>>     world is always richer than what one at first thought, isn't it?
>>     Andy
>>     ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>> ------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/**>
>>     MICHAEL W SMITH wrote:
>>         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
>>         <r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.uk <mailto:r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.**uk<r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.uk>
>> >
>>         <mailto:r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.**uk <r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.uk>
>>         <mailto:r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.**uk <r.j.s.parsons@open.ac.uk>>>>
>> wrote:
>>             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
>>             about
>>             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
>>             intending
>>             to examine "when I have time".  When I met the activity
>>         triangle,
>>             one of
>>             the most obvious issues about it was that it contains no
>>         separate
>>             place
>>             for motive. After a while that seemed logical because the
>>         motive
>>             was in
>>             the object, and maybe one of our difficulties is that we
>>         separate
>>             motive
>>             out from object in order to understand it better, and then
>>         forget
>>             to put
>>             it back in again.
>>             Children are just like people, they do need a reason to do
>>         things.
>>             I've
>>             always been puzzled by the idea of andragogy, the
>>         suggestion that
>>             adults
>>             learn differently from children. Proponents usually list
>>         several
>>             reasons
>>             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
>>             children do
>>             need to know why they are doing something, but lack the
>>         power to
>>             say so.
>>             Hence, I think, a lot of the problems evident in our UK
>>         schooling
>>             system
>>             (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.)
>>             Rob
>>             On 28/08/2013 08:27, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>                 Re: Peg Griffin -
>>                        http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/**
>> xmcamail.2011_05.dir/msg00530.**html<http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/xmcamail.2011_05.dir/msg00530.html>
>>                 and Peg and Mike et al:
>>         http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/**NEWTECHN.pdf<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
>>                 affairs
>>                 question. As opposed to telling the kids to read a
>>         text and
>>                 then (for
>>                 example) testing them on it.
>>                 The second talks about "reading for meaning" where
>>         assistance
>>                 is given
>>                 to kids to read in order to find out something they
>>         want to
>>                 know about
>>                 the world. As opposed to decoding "Jack and Jill" stories
>>                 containing
>>                 nothing of interest to them at all (and actually
>>         humiliating).
>>                 I am trying to get my head around the issue of the
>>         motivation
>>                 which
>>                 the teachers are trying to engender in the child which
>>         facilitates
>>                 learning to read.
>>                 Following A N Leontyev, Peg talks about the "merely
>>                 understood" motive
>>                 for the child "to be a productive, informed, literate
>>         citizen"
>>                 which
>>                 is what the education system is supposed to be doing.
>>         Peg says
>>                 this
>>                 motive was "in the social interactions and ready to
>>         replace the
>>                 'really effective' motives that got the kid to come
>>         to/put up
>>                 with our
>>                 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
>>                 valid,
>>                 and that in general children who have difficulty in
>>         reading,
>>                 read only
>>                 for "effective" but "external" motives which do not
>>         succeed in
>>                 them
>>                 learning to read effectively. Further, the task of the
>>         teacher
>>                 may be
>>                 or may be supposed to be to get the child to learn to
>>         read so
>>                 as "to
>>                 be a productive, informed, literate citizen." This
>>         objective is
>>                 somewhere in the complex of motives underlying a teacher's
>>                 motives,
>>                 certainly in 5thD, but I suspect often a "merely
>>         understood"
>>                 motive
>>                 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
>>                 happiness.
>>                 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
>>                 only
>>                 learn to read philosophy if they are struggling to get
>>                 something out
>>                 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
>>                 jumped on
>>                 the newspaper article to extract information they
>>         wanted in
>>                 (what they
>>                 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
>>                 strongly enough
>>                 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
>>                 a child
>>                 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
>>                 proximate
>>                 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
>>                 there, so
>>                 please help me.
>>                 Andy
>>             -- The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC
>>             000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity
>>             registered in Scotland (SC 038302).
>>         --         Michael W. Smith
>>         Professor and Chair
>>         Department of Teaching and Learning
>>         Temple University
>>         College of Education
>>         351 Ritter Hall
>>         1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
>>         Philadelphia, PA 19122