Are You Reading Me, Over?
Teachers lament the decline in reading these days. Mind you, they always did. There would always be some students who couldn’t or wouldn’t, causing no end of scholarly angst.
Why? Well as I thumb through the well-worn pages of the Teacher’s Guide To Learning, it says on page 8 that reading is the cornerstone to academic success. It’s a no brainer, isn’t it?
Yet, how many of us as adults actually do much reading? If I got a trusty butter knife and sliced down the gender line, you’d find women do more reading than men, hands down. So, how did that happen?
Well, it seems the answer has many factors. Women, generally, are more socially adept and communicate more freely. So, it makes sense that reading has a higher priority for women. Meanwhile, men are frequently smitten by technology (yes, I’m generalizing, but bear with me). For them, image based content has long been king.
Yet, with the Web, the rise of text has intensified into a tidal wave. Thanks to its interactive, magazine like format, men have new cause to read more (often, even without even realizing).
Aside from the woes, this is certainly one of the wins. Many a boy and adult man might sniff at reading a book. But they will readily dive into the text-laced world of the Word Wide Web and think nothing of it.
Reading, it turns out, hasn’t declined. Its form has modified.
But here’s the rub and no doubt, you can predict it. People are certainly reading, but the span of concentration it takes to read deeply and grasp complex meaning is taking a pasting. Typically, deep content rests in books, and you know how much guys like them.
That’s why we owe it to our friends and family to promote book reading too, by doing it ourselves. You already do, I know. But for everyone who doesn’t, a young child, friend, and relative is getting the message that books aren’t cool, “formal” reading doesn’t really matter, and that passively watching is the only thing to do. Yes, it’s not true. But that’s exactly what happens in so many homes, it’s enough to make a dedicated teacher’s hair curl. Or worse: fall out!
Comments are closed.