Panera and <I> Not Reading</I>

This is where I work in the morning. I have a bagel and a coffee and read an article (usually about pedagogy) as I eat and when I'm done, I will open up my laptop and look at curriculum options.

I read an interesting article in the English journal about students not reading. It discusses how through comprehension questions and common essay tests, teachers give their students permission to not read the materials and instead use the internet and study guides like SparkNotes or Cliffs Notes. The article, by Robert Broz, says that to combat not reading that teachers need to focus on reading journals and small group discussion where students negotiate meaning for themselves, rather than study guides with binary answers and teacher led discussions that let students glean information from the teacher rather than think for themselves and then regurgitate that information back on tests and in essays. This article inspires me and scares me at the same time. I think this is a great idea, but I can just imagine the student resistance to the idea that they actually have to read. It will also require that I move away from the publisher provided ancillary materials and make my students responsible for their own learning. I know that I will return to my table at Panera this summer. I will take my textbook, my lesson plan book and a new outlook on teaching. Watch this space for updates on my journey. Tory

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