Reading & Literacy Opinion

Ban Fiction in Schools?

By Richard Whitmire — December 22, 2010 1 min read
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Interesting argument here at Education Week in a teachers blog, reacting to the commentary I wrote with reading professor William Brozo.

From the commentary:

We're living through a fundamental international failure of schools and parents to engage boys in literacy skills," write Brozo and Whitmire. To fix this, they suggest making reading more enjoyable for boys. But what do boys like to read? ASCD blogger and president of an education consulting firm Grant Wiggins says it's not fiction books. In fact, he thinks schools should ban most fiction books from the curriculum altogether because they don't prepare students for the future, when the bulk of the reading they'll do as adults is non-fiction. And, he says, fiction bores boys. "I recall with horror having to read Jane Austen and Nathaniel Hawthorne as a student," Wiggins says. "Worse, look at current favorites in younger grades, such as Sarah Plain and Tall: utterly boring, with no action and endless overly-fine detail for page after page." With books like this, he says, it is easy to see how boys have become uninterested in reading.

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.