What Can We Learn from “Assessing Adolescents’ Motivation to Read” and the Lesesne “What Young Adults Tell Us about Books, Reading and Educators?”

Common themes?
New ideas?
Shared insights?
Connections to other readings?
Surprises?

Is anyone listening? And what do ELA classrooms where the teacher is listening (to these studies) look like? KES

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3 responses to “What Can We Learn from “Assessing Adolescents’ Motivation to Read” and the Lesesne “What Young Adults Tell Us about Books, Reading and Educators?”

  1. mandygrl101

    There are many common themes that emerge in the article “Assessing Adolescents’ Motivation to Read” in comparison to other works we have been reading this semester. One of the immediate reoccuring ideas that I noticed in this text was the issue of how we–society, teachers, and students, all define reading and how the former don’t usually consider many of the activities that students are engaging in to be forms of literacy. Similarly, the article also emphasizes that there is a huge discrepancy between the content and forms of reading that students are doing in schools and the multi-media literacies they are interacting with out of schools, many of which “bear little resemblance to traditional academic literary purposes.” The article also stressed the importance of choice, which I found particularly interesting. On one of the last pages, the article quotes a student who is talking about not having a choice regarding what reading material he endures in his classes. For a young adolescent, I found his statement to be somewhat insightful. He essentially is engaging in political discourse here, and he seems to believe that fairness and voting regarding the selection of classroom texts would work best for the students and teachers. I found this so interesting, perhaps because kids are taught that their opinions matter throughout their academic careers. For example, school council is about democracy, and kids vote in gym class on what game to play. I think this kid is entitled to assert his rights as students, rights that he has been given within and by schools, and is absolutely right to wonder why his opinion and preferences don’t extend to his English classroom.

    Further, I have never taken a reading survey, but for ENG 505, I have to give my host classroom a writing survey, which I have also never taken. This hand-out will come in handy and serve as a guide for me as I pursue this project.

  2. ll123

    The finding of Assessing Adolescents’ Motivation to Read is not a surprise to me. It just enhances my understanding of the reason why students don’t, won’t and can’t read, and it seems obviously a hot topic in the education field. I have done my survey regarding middle school students reading and writing at Western Middle School in Binghamton, and the finding is similar. On top of that, Atwell’s The Reading Zone and Marilyn Reynolds’ I Won’t Read And You Can’t Make Me both address the same finding: students love to read when they are given the chance to choose what matter to them. However, according to my own finding in my 505 class survey, I found that students like reading magazines most. I have this question in my mind for a while: Do we also bring magazines into class? Or Use some of them as our class reading and writing project? Somehow, I can’t accept this idea. How do you think about this? Posted by L. L.

  3. sunyprof

    Great question re: magazines Li. I absolutely think we need to encourage our students to read a range of magazines. Some of the best writing published in the U.S. is magazine publishing.

    Again I said a range of magazines–from what we might consider simple text to far more complex text. What are some examples of magazines all of you would want to have in your ELA classroom? KES

    P.S. I wonder how many magazines we all know about and/or read regularly. Let’s make a list. I’m sure we can do a great deal more to expand what it is we read ourselves to support the kinds of suggestions we can make to students and the magazines we can have on hand for them.

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