Here’s an interesting concept. You’re in a great book shop which has a wonderful children’s literature – think Better Read Than Dead in Newtown, or Gleebooks near St John’s Rd, Glebe. There is an abundance of riches in front of you. Now here’s the question – do you immediately think “Yum, I could eat you, you’re so beautiful” or do you go “Wow, that would be great for that unit on Conservation ….”? So are you looking at the pleasure that book can offer, or have you, like me started to be obsessed by how it can be used as a tool, and forgotten that the author did not write it so it could help your class understand bullying, or noxious weeds, or narrative or point of view …. or any of the other myriad topics that might come to mind? A head’s up … the author and any illustrator who was part of the action, almost always had the fun part in mind, regardless of what we think about what it could be used for in a classroom, and the kids in that classroom might like to share the joy!
This is a question, not a solution. What do you think inspires the child that wants to read, and holds back the child that doesn’t? There are so many factors that you can argue contribute to it, and, in theory, I know them all, but what is the reality?
Children model their parents, or can rebel against them. They do what they see around them. Often though, what they see around them devalues reading. When was the last time you picked up a book to read just for relaxation?
We reward our sports people. They get ticker tap parades, and the keys to cities. Did Patrick White get a parade when he won Australia’s only Nobel prize for literature?