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

Monday, January 09, 2012

Why not try the obvious first?

Why not try the obvious first?
Sent to the Chicago Tribune, Jan 9, 2012

According to one principal, students need a longer school day so they can catch up in reading (“Chicago schools to begin longer days Monday,” Jan 9).
We can get much bigger gains spending less money and with much less work, with an approach that children will like a lot better than staying in school longer: Invest in libraries and librarians.

Studies show that children who do not do well on reading tests often have little access to books. Studies also show that increasing access to books through libraries increases how much reading children do, and more reading results in better reading, spelling, grammar, writing, and a larger vocabulary.

In our recent analysis of an international reading test given to fourth graders in 40 countries, we found that students who were given time to read in school and who had access to a good school library had higher scores, but more instructional time was associated with lower scores.

Why not try the obvious, an approach with substantial support in the research, before rushing to institute expensive, elaborate programs that have no research support?

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Author, The Power of Reading (Heinemann, Libraries Unlimited, second edition, 2004).
Member, Reading Hall of Fame

original article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-cps-longer-day-0109-20120109,0,4580509.story

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