Monday, October 3, 2011

Adults and Children's Reading

Question: What role should parents play in their children’s reading after they have stopped reading aloud to them?

Answer/Quotes: “Daniel Pennac (2008) warns against too little and too much intervention by adults in the life of the child reader. He admonishes adults for ceasing to read aloud to children the moment they begin to read on their own. When we abandon our role as reader-aloud, we often assume the role of reading police in children’s lives. We monitor what children read, how often they read, how much they read, what ‘level’ they read and whether they’ve gained the ‘correct’ meaning from the text.”

Quote: “So what, then, is the role of the adult? To model, to let be, and to have faith. We must be cautious that our own excitement about sharing what we love as readers, or what we loved as child readers ourselves, does not prevent children from finding what they love. Thus, and perhaps most important, we must let children read what they choose to read, suspending adult evaluations of quality and appropriateness. Pennac reminds us that children reading tastes will evolve over time, He concluded his original ‘Reader’s Bill of Rights’ (1994) assuring the reader that s/he has ‘The Right to Not Defend Your Tastes’ (p. 206). We believe that this right has particular implications for the child reader who must fend off well-meaning parents and teachers patrolling the reading beat.” P. 244.

Comment: I wonder if Daniel Pennac would defend the use of violent or pornographic video games as he defends the child’s right to read? This is murky stuff. There’s a difference between guiding reading and censoring it. RayS.

Title: “The Right to Not Defend Your Tastes.” MA Cappiello, et al. Language Arts (January 2011), p. 244.

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