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02 May 2015 @ 08:38 pm
Speechless  
(but not wordless, LOL). I received an email from a former student this week asking for some help. An administrator had informed this librarian that reading aloud was not something he believed was part of library "programming." The librarian was told to stop reading aloud, so said librarian was asking me for some research too support the practice.

That was simple enough. I have been sharing tons of research about reading aloud since it began to disappear from classrooms and librarians several years ago. So, I gathered the research from the last 50 years, created some slides with research that could be accessed online, and include these in most of the presentations I do. It is not that educators (teachers and librarians) are questioning read aloud and its efficacy. But when they are told to cease and desist, they need something to defend the practice.

But I still have to scratch my head. How can we have folks who ignore the research on reading aloud AND who are in charge of telling educators what to do?

Donalyn Miller and I began hosting a Twitter chat called #bproots to address this insanity. We know what the best practices are. We need to have the research that supports the pedagogy at hand so we can not simply defend those practices but can call for best practices to be used throughout the school. Time for reading, reading aloud, choice in reading: these should not just be the practices in some classrooms. These practices need to be in all classrooms.

I am still hearing about grammar worksheets and packets almost 50 years since George Hillocks' study demonstrated clearly that teaching grammar in isolation is ineffective. What gives?

In some ways, this ignorance or denial of research reminds me of climate deniers. Evidence is ignored. Don't believe in giving choice in reading; just ignore the research. Don't believe in access to books being an important factor in reading? Keep cutting libraries and librarians. Don't believe in providing time for reading? Don't believe in moving past dioramas and other "projects" that prove kids have read a book? Don't believe that there is anything wrong about programs such as AR? Stick your heads in the sand, folks. Ignore the research. Continue to guarantee that kids never develop lifelong reading habits.
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