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[Xmca-l] Re: A Question about Reading and Motivation
- To: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: A Question about Reading and Motivation
- From: Carol Macdonald <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 17:35:08 +0200
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Sorry to put my oar in so late in the day. (Eight days later.)
The reading books these days (at least I can source many such) are
beautiful and interesting to children. I teach children with minor
dyslexia. We move in an out of abstract/analytical, fun, meaning,
abstract, laugh, meaning, snack, computer book etc. Just keep the tempo up
and the mood light, but we do need to move in and out of phonic skills.
The children are astonished that I make the reading exercises specially for
them - I think children reckon we can just get everything off the computer!
On 28 August 2013 09:27, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Re: Peg Griffin - http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/**
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> I know there are dozens of experts in literacy education out there, so
> please help me.
> *Andy Blunden*
Carol A Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
Academic, Researcher, and Editor *EditLab.net*
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa