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

Mike, as you've noted, Doug makes several pertinent points - and actually they all support the research and theory that is out there - particularly the value of supporting the child where the child is at, within a socially constructed activity - as well as recognizing that the primary reason for reading is comprehension of information - the joy of reading.

and really, it's not that difficult to arrange - i see it done every day in many, many classrooms.  formal schools are not by definition forbidding environments... anymore than the range of family environments.  schools like families are not self-contained stand-alone environments - rather, it's just the opposite.

if memory serves me correctly, 80 to 85% of children will learn to read regardless of how they're taught - though if you want them to learn how to read with comprehension upper-most in their minds, then they need to be engaged from the very beginning in the practice of reading for meaning / comprehension.  otherwise they may read the text with great pronunciation, but little comprehension.  

10 - 15% of children really need one-on-one intensive instruction - much like what the late reading researcher Marie Clay developed, where her emphasis was on supporting the child to develop internal self-monitoring.

i haven't seen a "See Spot run" etc. text used within a classroom for 30 years, perhaps more.  i have heard of such texts being used by schools where political conservatism holds sway over the curriculum - right along with teaching creationism and rote algorithms in math.  but i've been fortunate enough to not be teaching within a politically conservative context -  what did the earlier posting on context say?

Jean Lave sometimes ago pointed out that the theory of formal and informal learning as defined by difference is basically flawed - that in fact learning is learning - and as she and Wenger pointed out in Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, they are just as distinct failures of learning in informal apprenticeships as in, say, formal academic learning.

student failures in schools are not directly cause and effect outcomes.  nothing is.

anyway, my two bits.


Phillip White, PhD
Urban Community Teacher Education Program
Site Coordinator
Montview Elementary, Aurora, CO