I spent a few days over the last couple of months talking to audiences of educators in various situations. I talked about the importance of CHOICE when it comes to reading and not just for reading outside of the school. I hear some folks talking about CHOICE and it seems to me there is some conviction there, but I do not find trust and I certainly do not see action that mirrors the belief that kids need choice in reading. Instead, I see some hedging. "Well, some say, for reading outside of class I give them choice." Or, "Well, my hands are tied. I have to include certain things because my kids are AP or GT or fill-in-the-blank." Sometimes, "Well, kids will just pick stuff that do not challenge them." This is where belief becomes belie. There may be some conviction, but trust is definitely absent. There is no trust that kids are able to select books (and please note that no one advocating choice is advocating that we do not help kids make informed choices). And the action does not mirror the conviction.
I will point the finger back at myself here. I lauded choice over and over, but my own literature classes offered little choice. And I used the trust argument. My students needed me to select books for them. So I did and I rationalized it all. Obviously my action belied my belief in choice. I have finally arrived at the point where all three phases of belief are at work in my classes. There is much more choice of reading material and also choice in terms of how students demonstrate their knowledge.
I hope that in the coming year, as I present to educators, that I will talk about the need for belief to be mirrored with trust and action. Otherwise, belief is word without flesh, without substance.