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ERIC Number: ED278950
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 45
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Thoughts about Reading by a Non-Specialist.
Parsons, Jim
Narrowly defining reading as a list of skills dealing with word attack and letter sounds is potentially crippling to readers, because it limits the instruction provided by those who write literature--authors, who, in creating text, create meaning. The nature of reading instruction should not structure the ways human beings come to deal with literature; rather, the purposes arrived at when dealing with literature should form the basis of reading instruction. The qestion of why one reads is more important than the question of how one reads. When reading, people choose, in more conscious ways, those aspects of their personal lives that they will let help structure the meanings of the reading experience. This focus on the interaction between reader and text is crucial, for without such interaction there could be no transfer of meaning. Reading is a constructive process in which the reader builds the author's structure, or at least a personal version of it. An overemphasis on diagnostics and prescription leads to the view of individuals as machines whose parts need to be repaired or replaced, and to overuse of skill-sequence exercises that do not really teach children how to read. Teaching mastery of separate skills should thus be only an aid to better reading, and not an end unto itself. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A