Thursday, October 09, 2014

Students who can't read, are not the problem

Students who don't want to read, are the problem

Teaching has been likened to herding cats so many times now, as to become trite.  It keeps coming up because most teachers will agree, it is true in so many aspects.

With respect to children and kittens learning to read, a simple fact remains;

if kittens could learn how to read, they would.
And, in short order.
If children were allowed to learn how read, they would.
This providing they and cats have the same ground rules;
if it isn't interesting and engaging and intrinsically motivating, they get to move on.  They get to move on until they do find something that is intrinsically interesting and engaging and self-motivating.

Students will learn with vigor and enthusiasm.  Once they have learned how to learn; once they have matured emotionally, they will begin to be able to learn what isn't so appealing at first sniff.  It will be begrudgingly, but they will be in a better position to learn it, simply because they are skilled learners by the time it comes up.

The mission, the ultimate goal, and the primary objective of education is to create independent lifelong learners at the earliest opportunity.

Kids who don't want to read are the problem.  Their problem is exacerbated by our relentless unwillingness let them follow their noses to something they want to read so much, they will learn how to read in order to read.

Kids, for the most part, who want to read, learn how to read.
The trick is to help them find something they want to read.

As an aside; as written and "spoken" language diverge,
learning to read is going to become increasingly difficult.
One cannot read in a language they do not already speak.
Sit down and shut up is a poor prelude to learning to read.

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