Musings on books

Spread the love

Given the 2003 study by L. M. Morrow, “Motivating lifelong voluntary reading,” that states that “students in classrooms with libraries read 50% more books than students in classrooms without them,” I wonder why school districts don’t focus more on purchasing diverse books for purposes of building up classroom libraries, especially highly visual books designed to benefit reading-challenged and bilingual students. Is this simply a matter of a shortage of funds or is it a matter of allocating resources according to curriculum requirements that do not include random, recreational literature? Is it a combination of these two considerations as well as other factors? The last two districts I worked in spent little money on classroom books.

Eduhonesty: I am afraid part of the problem is overly rigid curricula which do not allow time for activities that are not specifically planned. We have left little time for books that don’t directly address the test. In my last middle school position, we eliminated silent reading time because there was no “empirical proof” that silent reading provided educational value. We substituted a test preparation period instead.