Monday, November 29, 2010

Evidence Needs to Trump Ideology and Mandates

I have recently read two books--Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum by Richard Allington and The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller-- that are reminders that educators must not let ideology and/or mandates dictate what happens in the classroom. Teachers who have a desire to be the best teacher possible for their students will earnestly search out what works to achieve the goals that are most important.

For instance, it does no good to create a generation of people who are aliterate--people who know how to read but don't. If we can help create in students a love for books and for learning they will have a much greater desire to learn to read. Separating reading skills from books makes most young people hate reading.

Where we put our energies, time, and monies show what we value most. Therefore, if we value creating a generation of people who read it would probably be wise for us to put our energies, time, and monies into stocking our classroom and school libraries rather than into computer programs and packaged curriculums that only focus on reading skills.

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