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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Does deep reading matter?

When I talk to my students about how much they read, they say "all the time". They read Facebook, twitter, tumbler, blogs, online newspapers.

In an age where students are reading more than ever, have we missed the fact that not a lot of that reading is deep reading. Reading that engulfs you, that involves you and reading that stays with you for years. Linear reading which keeps you focused an allows your mind to not jump around like it does when you are twittering, facebooking and tumblering ...

In our wider reading sessions at our Senior Library we try and encourage and promote deep reading. Something with an overarching theme, something with characters or people who develop and it doesn't matter if it is a novel that they have read in the past. Students just need to be engaged. Deep reading isn't about reading for an academic subject. It involves wondering what will happen to a character, putting clues together and formulating a hypothesis about the story or character. If you have read the book before, then a second or third read will reveal things about the book that you didn't pick up on before.

All we ask for is 10-15 minutes a day and we encourage students to identify a space that appears regularly in their day. That space of time waiting at the bus stop. That space of time before the dinner is on the table. Once you start looking for those spaces of time, they become more apparent. Encourage students to carry a book/ebook with them "just incase".

But does deep reading matter? Research would argue that it does. But what seems to matter more is that if your child, student or impressionable young adult can see that you value deep reading as well. Michael Pryor wrote a great blog post about things that you can do to build that reading culture. Not just parents, but teachers as well. 

Do you have any good ideas for encouraging "deep reading"?

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