Why Aren't Students Reading?
What Can Faculty Do?
Newsletter of Teaching & Learning at Penn State York
Best Practices, Teaching Tips, Ideas, Resources, What's NEW!!
Volume 2 Issue 4 November/December 2007
Last summer I started a second master's degree in language development, specifically in reading, because I've wanted to answer a nagging question for myself: Why aren't students reading? After speaking informally with many faculty members, it is apparent that this issue is impacting many of us. We know that students need to read in order to learn and we know that reading impacts their ability to write effectively, so why aren't they doing more of it?
Recently I attended an interesting videoconference, offered through PaTTAN, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, called A Good Start is Not Enough: Improving Reading Achievement for Older Readers. The presenter was Dr. Timothy Shanahan from the University of Illinois at Chicago who began with some interesting statistics that gave me some answers to my question.
Did you know that 4th graders in the US test either first or second in the world in all subjects?! http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ But, by the time these same kids reach 8th grade, they are down to 15th place in reading achievement, and by the time they ready 12th grade, Dr. Shanahan said that he'd need the rest of the time to read the list of countries that score above our graduating seniors in reading achievement. A whopping 50% of graduating seniors in the US test at a basic level of reading which means they can barely get by on the literacy skills they have. Are we surprised then by what we see in our college classrooms?
So what's going on? How can we respond? READ MORE
In this Issue
- Feature Article: Why Aren't Students Reading: What Can Faculty Do?
- Q & A - How can we help students gain stronger literacy skills?
- Article of Interest -Using a Reading Strategy to Foster Active Learning in Content Area Courses, by Margaret Fritz (2002)
- WHAT'S NEW - Online tutorials including: Strategies to Build Reading Skills for Academic Texts, ANGEL 7 updates, PSU texting for Campus emergencies/closures, eLearning group meets
- Upcoming Workshops - Spring Workshop ideas, Call for topics