aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

"Trivial" fiction - do you think students should be required to read more non-fiction?

There may be a problem, but I'm not sure if this is the solution:

An article says: "Although Americans are reading more words today than they ever have, there is evidence that the content of that reading ... has become less and less challenging, and that student reading lists made up mostly of "fun," lightweight fiction are accelerating the trend.".... ""One of my big gripes is the imperialism of literature, of trivial fictions and poetry," says E.D. Hirsch, a literature professor and advocate of "cultural literacy. Hirsch rejects the idea that storybooks are the only books that appeal to children. "Fiction doesn't have a monopoly on narrative," he says. "Take, for example, biographies. They have the form of fiction. It isn't whether kids can read it or not, it's whether it is taught or not. And boys tend to be more interested in nonfiction than fiction. It's one of the reasons… that boys do less well and are turned off from reading.""

["Trivial fictions"? "Storybooks"? Sounds like somebody has a bias.]

The article suggests that instead teens read "newspapers and magazines, texts about nature and technology, and biographies." But would that really solve the problem? I would like to see more evidence and less guesswork.

I don't know about your kid, but my experience with Teen is that the more she is required to read for school, the less she likes to read for pleasure. And I don't think the answer lies in blaming it all on Twilight.

You can read the whole article here.

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