Students Now Have Freedom of Choice When It Comes to Reading
About 60 school districts throughout the country have adopted a new approach to promote reading, and the College's Reading and Writing Project is the driving force behind the innovative reform. Rather than restricting students to either reading one book as a class or following a scripted curriculum to meet test standards, some schools now allow them to select books they find interesting and best suited for their individual skill levels. While this means students may be reading either ahead or behind their classmates, the goal is to help them think critically about concepts such as voice, character development, and historical content.
"I want people to understand that we teachers have to take whatever our kids are reading, we have to take those books seriously and see intellectual merit in them," said Lucy Calkins, director of the Reading and Writing Project. "We don't have to wait until they're in high school to teach kids to have ideas about texts."
The article, entitled "District Embraces Method that Fosters Critical Reading," appeared in the October 26 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.