A Nation of Readers

February 07, 2006 1 min read

Most experts agree that students should have command of basic reading skills by the time they leave the elementary grades. However, writes English teacher Peter Gow, the fact is that many need much more practice and immersion to become truly confident, engaged readers. In this Education Week Commentary, Gow proposes that the entire 4th grade year be devoted exclusively to teaching reading.

Reading is the most important skill students must acquire in school and, Gow argues, this intense focus on reading is necessary to ensure that students fully master it. Subsequently, fourth grade teachers would become personal reading coaches and classrooms would be transformed into giant libraries with shelves of books and lots of comfortable, well-lighted places to flop down and read.

Does Gow’s proposal sound like a pipe dream—or is he on to something? What do you think?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.