Saturday, August 18, 2007

Change the World

The essence of both reading and reading instruction is change. Reading a book changes us forever as we return from the worlds we inhabit during our reading journeys with new insights about our surroundings and ourselves. Teaching a student to read is also a transforming experience. It opens new windows to the world and creates a lifetime of opportunities. Change defines our work as both literacy educators and researchers — by teaching a student to read, we change the world.(Leu, Kinzer, Coiro & Cammack, 2004)
In case you harbored ideas that you were a History, Science, Math, Foreign Language, Art, or Music teacher (apologies to any I have forgotten) I would like to shatter your illusions. We are all reading teachers. We teach reading at all grade levels.
We can change the world, just by developing the skill of reading in students.
All knowledge is contextual. This is true for reading literacies too. Will we affect change by transforming our students' lives and literacies? We have this opportunity. Reading literacies will be used differently in the future than they have been in the past. The change is dependent upon changing contexts.
Recall Karl Fisch says we prepare students to use technologies that haven't yet been invented. In order to use those technologies they will need many well developed literacies, including reading literacies.
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Leu, D.J., Jr., Kinzer, C.K., Coiro, J., & Cammack, D.W. (2004). Toward a theory of new literacies emerging from the Internet and other information and communication technologies. In R.B. Ruddell, & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed., pp. 1570-1613). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Available:

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