professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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One man's meat is another man's poison

Do not know why this popped into my head today.  But, as always, it served as a nice prompt for some writing here.  Those of us who serve on committees which select award winners certainly know the truth of this statement.  As deadlines approach for nominations, the conversation becomes more and more intense.  While it has been my experience that the discussion while impassioned has been respectful as well, the inside voice sometimes says to me, "why can't this person see what I do?"  And I am relatively certain the other individuals involved in the discussion are thinking much the same thing. 

The fact is that we all read a different book though the text is the same, of course (but would that not make for an interesting plot?).  Some of us notice one thing (an eccentric character for instance) and someone else might see something different (perhaps the tiny details that create a living, breathing setting).  And subsequent readings of a book (and on selection committees, there are plenty of repeated rereadings) will reveal more treasure if you are open to them.  I remember that, on more than one instance, that listening to a fellow committee member gave me new eyes when it came time for the next reading.

So, what does this have to do with kids and books and reading?  Just as committee members come to the table and to the book with different sets of experiences and even perhaps expectations, our kids come to that same text with different eyes.  Some are insisting with CCSS that we not activate prior experience with the kids.  I wonder, then, how we will ever be able to see with THEIR eyes? 

And where is the research that indicates activating prior knowledge is bad?  Or that close reading is better?  Or that somehow kids should read less fiction instead of simply adding more nonfiction?
Tags: ccss, seeing texts
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