Reading to fly: Access to reading across diversity
Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Vol. 23(1): 46-50, Spring 2010.
When we focus on responses to reading rather than to the act of reading, it doesn’t matter if the student has read every page or if she liked the book, if the she is rereading a book or what ‘level’ the book is on, whether only the action parts were read or only the dialogue. Independent reading is ultimately about some form of thoughtful engagement with a text and the personal treasures (learning) we pick up during reading. Responses to texts in any format are learning outcomes that reflect these treasures and can be viewed from an inclusive perspective using an abilities approach across the diversity of students: we can assess what each student was able to learn and/or take away from the text. Every student responding to the text achieves success, and when students associate reading with a positive, pleasant, interesting experience, reading comes closer to the heart.