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ERIC Number: EJ887745
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
The Power of Independent, Self-Selected Reading in the Middle Grades
Stairs, Andrea J.; Burgos, Sara Stairs
Middle School Journal (J3), v41 n3 p41-48 Jan 2010
Pressured to comply with state and district mandates, teachers may follow scripted, back-to-basics lessons and, as a result, feel frustrated about the assaults on their professionalism and the prevalence of "test-prep pedagogy." As they experience relentless pressure to improve test scores, teachers face a constant challenge to maintain their commitment to student-centered pedagogy. In this paper, the authors' main argument is that, despite the aforementioned challenges, literacy educators should keep independent, self-selected reading at the center of the middle grades language arts curriculum. The authors believe that a literacy-rich classroom environment grounded in student-centered pedagogy offers possibilities for engaging all learners and encouraging them to be lifelong readers. After outlining a rationale for independent reading in a reading workshop classroom environment, they describe how these practices were enacted in an eight-grade classroom in Maine. They share students' reactions to these practices which remind them how influential books can be when students are given opportunity to choose what they read in a classroom environment that values reading. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine