Great post by Grant Wiggins on content knowledge and comprehension strategies in reading instruction. Very similar ideas apply in the science practices vs. content knowledge debate in science education.
The time-consuming test prep with endless exercises on “finding the main idea” and “questioning the author,” exercises that are supposed to help improve verbal abilities, have become the chief cause of today’s curriculum narrowing. Paradoxically then, emphasis on reading and reading tests have helped to cause low reading scores among school leavers.
E D Hirsch recently in the Washington Post
The focus on the “skill” of reading has produced students who cannot read. Teachers cannot cultivate reading comprehension by forcing children to practice soul-deadening exercises like “finding the main idea” and “questioning the author.” Students would be better off gaining knowledge by studying real subject matters in a sensible, cumulative sequence. Instead, elementary schools are dominated by content-indifferent exercises that use random fictional texts on the erroneous assumption that reading comprehension is a formal skill akin to typing.
E D Hirsch recently in the Wall Street Journal
Over the years…
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