Education

Boys and Reading (or Not Reading)

By Anthony Rebora — March 04, 2008 1 min read

Susan Ens Funk grapples with the perennial question of how to get her 4th and 5th grade boys more interested in reading. Doug Noon, referencing a literacy text, responds that part of the problem may derive from literacy teachers’ traditional emphasis on “literature to the exclusion of critical approaches to non-narrative texts. Boys tend to like informational texts more than literature.” A greater emphasis on informational texts, he adds, might also make more sense in the present cultural context:

And I’m not thinking about the boys’ problems with reading here, especially, as much as I’m reconsidering the how and the why of teaching reading using informational texts vs. narrative texts. Since just about everyone seems to think we’re living in The Information Age now, maybe it’s time we put literature on a back burner, and begin to focus more on teaching strategies for content area reading. That’s where I’m heading now.

But then, I think you could also argue that it is precisely because we live in an information-saturated age that educators need to keep in mind the counter-balancing importance of reflective literature.

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