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Forced to Read?

July 7, 2008

I’ve been thinking a lot about Ken Robinson’s speech concerning education and how it kills creativity.

This led me back to the subject of books in schools. How is it that schools do such a terrible job of instilling a love of reading? Again it’s because they follow the same tired old mass industrial model. A room of 20 or 30 odd individuals, all being made to read the same book at the same time, at the same pace. Insanity? No, education. Apparently.

Given this, its surprising that anyone comes out of the school system wanting to read at all.

Schools should be instilling a love of reading, the same way they should be supporting other creative outlets, by encouraging students to discover what they want in their own way, at their own pace.

Don’t shake your head either, thinking something along the lines of ‘if they weren’t forced to read they wouldn’t read’. And why is that, exactly? Because they see no reading being done in their own homes? Quite possibly. But why is that? Because their own parents went through the same system, and came out with no wish to read. See? That is proof that the system isn’t working, not a reason to perpetuate the system.

Forcing kids to read a specific book, or forcing anyone to read a specific book, is bad, and a waste of time. Instead, students should be encouraged to discover books, and be challenged to take their reading further. That one might work. I think it’s worth a try.

Categories: non-fiction Tags: ,
  1. July 11, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Hi, I agree with most of what you said. I had a hard time at school when I was coerced to read some books that were just… boring!
    Now as an adult, I can choose my own books, and as a consequence reading became a real pleasure for me over the years!

  2. davekay
    July 16, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I’m glad you still enjoy reading in spite of what was forced on you. I know so many people who were turned off completely by school. Sad.

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