Readicide - How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It
How much do I want to read more? 7/10
Yes, yes, yes. I can't agree more with the harm being done in school. And I'm even more shocked reading this book. How can it even happens? Aren't adults supposed to behave like adults toward children, and lead the way toward the best vestion of themselves? It seems likes school, at some point is doing the opposite.
I have this deeply ingrained in my memory, that school can either be a fantastic place to emancipate, or a total destructive weapon to kill children's most precious gifts.
First example, sprinting through too many content, and focusing on tests instead of comprehension and deep thinking. Understanding should be everything.
Readicide = the systematic killing of the love of reading.
Learning without thinking is labor lost; thinking without learning is dangerous.
“Reading, I hate it because of the lack of fun it brings me.”
“I never really liked reading, but I don’t have many books.”
“Reading is only fun if I have nothing else to do.”
“Hate runs through me when I spend hours of time I could be spending doing something enjoyable.”
“Reading! I find it boring—it just has no interest for me.”
“Reading is a big waste of time.”
“Reading really sucks.”
“I read books only because my teachers make me.”
“I would rather watch TV, play sports, and hang out with my friends.”
Looking Beyond the Usual Suspects
poverty, lack of parental education, print-poor environments at home, second- language issues, the era of the hurried child, and entertainment options that lure students away from reading.
the practices we, as educators, are employing to make students better readers are often killing them. Intentions are not the problem; our practices are the problem.
- Schools value the development of test-takers more than they value the development of readers
- Schools are limiting authentic reading experiences
- Teachers are overteaching books
- Teachers are underteaching books
Ray Bradbury said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
Chapter 1 - The Elephant in the Room
how the overemphasis on testing is playing a major part in killing off readers in America’s classrooms.
We are develop- ing test-takers at the expense of readers.
I am not against these standards. Standards are critical in helping teachers plan and align their instruction.
Standards are necessary, and hav- ing them has made me a better teacher. However, there are too many of them.
If it took six weeks of heavy teaching before my students deeply understood the events of 9/11, then how long will it take to teach students in a history class to “relate the moral and ethical principles in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, in Judaism, and in Christianity to the development of Western political thought”? And that’s just one of many standards for which tenth-grade history teachers are responsible.
A Double Whammy
sprinting, students do not develop an interest in any con- tent area.
Want to extinguish an adolescent’s curiosity? Cover as much material as possible.
There is a big difference between memorizing facts and understanding history.
In "Many Children Left Behind", how testing has driven shallow teaching and learning:
- taught the scientific revolution, French Revolution, revolution in Haiti, Simon Bolivar and Latin American independence, the Napoleonic period, nationalism in Italy and Germany, Zionism, Industrial Revolution
- classes are “reduced to memorizing thirty different kinds of whales and spitting out that information.” “it’s easier to test for facts than [for] understanding”
- “students are reading fewer books to make more room for test prep”
- Oregon is cutting foreign language and music classes and spending more on data collection and testing programs.
Students develop into memorizers instead of into thinkers. And both teachers’ and stu- dents’ motivation are irreparably harmed.