Why the New York Times missed the point

I've written a commentary over on Examiner discussing the dust up over the New York Times article on students self-selecting reading materials.

Basically, I'm worried that in all the tweeting and posting and hip-hooraying over letting students choose their own books, we miss two important points:

1. Most reading educators use a form of self-selection already and without proper training, the Reading Workshop method lacks the sound educational foundation to TEACH someone how to read and write well.

2. The bigger issue is in the prescriptive nature of the current educational climate.

By squabbling over an old-news-method, that almost every teacher I know uses to some effect, we are missing an opportunity to promote the discussion of topics concerning the loss of professionally trained decision-making for our students.

Here are my thoughts for you :-)
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti.

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BookChook said...

I agree. Like most things in this world, it is all about balance. No one single method worked in my teaching career; I found an eclectic approach catered to more students.

That said, I do perceive that the emphasis on quantifying learning by spending so much time testing is to the detriment of children. Wonderful teachers know how to inspire their kids and motivate them to read, as well as give them the scaffolding they need to be readers in the 21st C. What they need is the time and the support to do it.

Cheryl Vanatti said...

I agree!