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

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.
Motivation pervades,

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 <ablunden@mira.net> 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
> --
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/

Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
Developmental psycholinguist
Academic, Researcher,  and Editor  *EditLab.net*
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa