I agree with Holt’s article. Holt begins by noting that teachersdo not give students a chance to communicate their thoughtsconcerning what they have read. Rather, students are expected torespond according to what the teacher wants to hear. Students arealso tested about books and a list of vocabulary, which they ought tolearn (Holt 55). In addition, Holt evaluates the teaching strategy ofhaving students read out aloud, which causes them to become nervous,as they are afraid of making a mistake.
Mistakes are followed by public humiliation (Holt 57-58). Byevaluating these teaching methods, it is apparent that teachers areturning their children against reading. This is because students nolonger read what interests them. Rather, students remember words toavoid public humiliation when asked to read aloud. Students alsomemorize words to be able to respond to teacher questions. It becomesapparent that the student’s point of view in a certain reading isnot considered.
Children turn away from reading because they merely do it to pleaseteachers and parents, rarely comprehending what they read. Childrenshould not be tested on reading understanding, especially onvocabulary. Such tests only make the students afraid of failing andin turn, they develop a negative attitude towards reading. Instead ofbecoming a natural process, it becomes conditioned in the studentsthat they have to understand everything they read. The problem issuch tests compel students to memorize what they read. In the end,the objective of comprehension is not even achieved.
Children and college learners can be motivated to read more, as wellas enjoy by not setting limits on what is expected of them from thereadings. An illustration is, instead of teachers asking studentsquestions concerning a book they should allow the pupils to givetheir point of view. Learners should also be allowed to selectwhichever books they desire to read. Thus, they will enjoy readingbecause they feel that their teachers do not impose the book on them.
I think that as a culture, people lack the patience needed to readlong works, such as books. Both newspaper articles clearly state thatthere was an instance when individuals were accustomed to readinglong books. In most instances, the books would be read for individualpleasure. People had the desire to learn, and they could patientlyread a book to understand and learn. However, current life seems tobe moving fast, and people barely have enough time to concentrate onreading.
In addition, books have seized to become the sole source ofinformation. As a culture, individuals lack the patience of readinglong books because they have found alternatives to reading. Forinstance, there are numerous book reviews, which people access whenthey want to get informed on the content of a book. By readingthrough a number of reviews, one already has a notion of what thebook entails. Thus, they find it unnecessary to read the entire book.
Lack of patience also arises from the recent trend of faking culturalliteracy. Most individuals behave as though they have read manybooks, to fit in peer groups and conversations. Hence, concentrationis merely on a current book. Instead of spending time to read theentire book, summaries become important and aid in faking culturalliteracy. In addition, people have lost dedication to books andadjusted to information shared through technology, like tweets andFace book. The cultural belief that these tweets share knowledgedrives people away from sparing time to read an entire book.
We are becoming a community where most individuals read enoughinformation to tweet and communicate about. Since people are alwaysdiscussing what is current either at work or in classes, most peoplefeel that they need to be up to date with what is happening. Thus, toget the most relevant information all it requires is a look at tweetsand facebook comments and one deems that they are well informed totake part in public debates.
As Greenfeld (1) argues, “what we all feel now is the constantpressure to know enough at all times, lest we be revealed asculturally illiterate”. It is apparent that focus has shifted fromunderstanding what we read, to knowing that the information exists.By knowing, people are able to regard themselves as culturallyliterate because they have an idea of what others are talking about,and it gives them an opportunity to engage socially.
The authors’ arguments are all correct. In Holt’s article, themost relevant part is his attempt to make teachers question theirconventional teaching methods (Holt 55). It is apparent that theconventional methods, like expecting students to understand all thewords they read, only make students hate reading. Thus, it becomesironic that the very teachers expected to make students love reading,are the very reason that many students will probably not be reading.Holt urges teachers to adopt new teaching strategies where they allowstudents to choose what to read. Students need also to be permittedto write on topics of their own. In the end, the entire learningprocess becomes interesting and alters children’s perceptions onreading.
Miller (1) notes, “When reading a book there is no substitute for abook”. The section is important in informing people on the need tospare time to read. The author intends to demonstrate that there is alot of experience gained from reading long books, compared to justfollowing summaries and review. This is because reading challengesthe thinking process. Greenfeld (1) evaluates how people fakecultural literary through nodding knowingly when someone talks abouta book or film we have not watched. The section alerts readers on theneed to read and alarms on the increasing trend of people fakingknowledge. In the end, such a trend will create an illiteratecommunity, where people depend on other people’s opinions fromtweets and other kinds of social media, in place of knowledgeacquired from reading facts from books.
Greenfeld, Karl, T. Faking Cultural Literacy. The New York Times,24 May 2014. Web. 18 Jun 2014.
Holt, John C. The Underachieving School. Boulder, CO: SentientPublications, 2005. Print.
Miller, Andy. We are losing the art of reading. The Guardian,8 Jun. 2014. Web. 18 Jun. 2014.