"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, May 02, 2011

Get caught reading month?

May is Get Caught Reading month.

I have two problems with this idea.

1. It's hard to get caught reading if you don't have access to many books. The only source of books for children of poverty is libraries, and both public and school libraries are being cut back enormously, because of budget cuts. (But we will be spending much more on tests.)

How about Support Libraries Month? Or Support Libraries Decade?

2. According to a press release from the Association for American Publishers, some areas are having Get Caught Reading campaigns, showing videos of children getting caught reading. This is rewarding children for reading. As Alfie Kohn has pointed out, giving someone a reward for doing something that is already pleasant sends the message that it isn't pleasant and nobody would do it without a bribe. "Get caught reading" might be resulting in less reading. Have there been any studies? Is there less "spontaneous" reading when the cameras are gone?

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