Because instant access to information on the Internet has great appeal to students and is encouraged by their teachers, electronic text is taking precedence over paper. Too often learners and teachers lose sight of the value of paper sources, especially full-length books that provide the depth that does not occur when reading online or on electronic reading devices such as the iPad and Kindle. As a result of browsing and clicking, electronic readers lose the power to concentrate and reflect on global insights and experiences.
Although electronic reading seems to support efferent reading and full-length print books nurture aesthetic reading, as Nicholas Carr states in ‘The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains’ (Norton), in reality we “allow ourselves to get lost in the funhouse of endless hyperlinks” and “zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” As secondary school literacy teachers, we provide our students with a balance between electronic and print experiences—between efferent and aesthetic reading—by expanding their knowledge of stories around the world within a cultural context.
However, for over a decade we have also encouraged teachers in our school system to embrace an in-depth reading of world literature through full-length books by teaching a staff development class called Reading Around the World. Among the effects of our program, our teachers become engaged in original voices from countries unknown to them; they realize background knowledge not only of the author and style, but history and culture enhance depth of one’s reading; they see multiple perspectives that the media often reports with bias. This presentation will share the booklists, themes, resources, and discussion strategies we have found successful.
|Keywords:||Literacy Education, Print vs Electronic Media, Professional Development, World Literature|
Retired English teacher, English Department, Illinois, USA
English Teacher/Instructional Coach, English Department, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA
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