I was invited by our church's school to conduct a seminar on reading. Yesterday I presented the power point presentation and the seminar, I think, went well. Reading is very imporatant in learning. Even in this age where we have the power to gather information at the touh of a keyboard, it is still reading we do to acquire information. In our educational system reading is still one of the most neglected aspect of learning.
Unfortunately there is no formula on how to make pupils like reading. All the teacher can do is to model, encourage, arouse and provide guidance. Reading is still an acquired taste. Teachers can't work on the pupils by feeding them , all they can do is learn the principles and the factors that contributes to the pupil to like reading. John Holt's theories and observation on reading is helpful in understanding how reading should be made into a fun activity in the school rather than make it into a read, evaluate, humiliate activity that most traditional schools do. In his article "How Tachers Make Children Hate Reading" Holty proposed to make reading a wholly free activity of the pupils--no evaluation, just guidance.
Anyway, reading is all about discovery. I was looking at my daughter and I was hoping that because she always see me holding a book, she will imitate me but she doesn't. I can't force her to read becuase she will hate reading more. The only thing I can hope for is, that because of the books lying around our house, she'll pick one by accident, read a few lines, and then...get hooked on reading. Like what happened to me. I was on my third grade when I first read "Mythology" by Edith Hamilton, my first real book, and then the rest of the story is a sweet love affair with books.
This was the second seminar I conducted for the school, the first was on the Art of questioning--a skill often neglected by teachers.
It's a strange feeling for an undergraduate old student to conduct seminars to veteran elementary school teachers.
(The church school has eight teachers and fifty students.)