What Should Students Read? by Steven Wolk in the April 2010 issue of Kappan is a must-read article.
I learned about it through the Pebble Creek Labs blog, which I will continue to encourage people to check-out.
That blog post, which today is written by Cynthia Moore, has a good one sentence summary of the article:
Our insistence on teaching the classics is far less about pushing kids out of their comfort zone and more about staying in ours.
Cynthia’s post shares some of the best quotes of the article, so you might want to explore it before you read the article itself.
Here is my favorite quote:
Much of what students read in
school should be interesting, global,
provocative, critical, relevant, diverse,
creative, emotional, and imaginative.
Those are hardly the adjectives students
use to describe most of what they
read for school. Ask a kid to list the
“bold” and “fascinating” readings they
have done in school. That is, texts that
have encouraged them to question their
assumptions and opened their minds to
stimulating ideas. That will be a very
short list indeed.