Tag Archives: Teaching

Article: Peer Influences on Young Teen Readers

Peer Influences on Young Teen Readers

What motivates teen readers (age 12 – 15)?

Two key elements jumped out at me from this article by Vivian Howard:  http://yalsa.ala.org/yals/yalsarchive/volume8/8n2_winter2010.pdf

One: The importance of relationships to teens: that is to say, teens will rely on peers as information sources OR as a guide for where to get information in place of getting information from a book.

The findings of this study illuminate the central role played by people as information links and providers. Students relied upon a broad spectrum of people when seeking information. In fact, the interpersonal networks of students appear to determine the framework in which all information seeking takes place, therefore emphasizing the role of interpersonal interactions in gathering information as a critical component in the instruction process.

Howard goes on to report on one teen respondent’s insight about why a ‘live person’ is considered a much more valuable resource:

“One teen respondent explained her preference for human information sources in this way: ‘When asking people, I consider their expertise. If you don’t understand what a person is saying, you can ask them [sic] to explain it a little further. You can’t ask a book to explain what it means right now. I go to people because of their interactive nature.'”

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Two: Avid readers read for pleasure in the a “social context”, but to different degrees:

“…many young teen readers systematically described how their pleasure reading takes place in a social context, as an effective strategy to cement peer friendships. These teens actively sought to read the same materials as their closest friends and used reading (talking about reading, exchanging reading material, following the same series) as a form of social bonding…” while for others “…reading has always been and continues to be something they do for pleasure, but in isolation, and it is not a habit to be shared with either friends or family.”

So, this perhaps begs the question about what role might a teacher play in getting teens to read?

“Librarians (and teachers) can promote themselves as accessible and valuable information resources. They can also integrate themselves into students’ interpersonal networks, working with parents, teachers and others to develop and market programmes that focus on students’ needs and the interpersonal aspects of information-seeking behavior.”

But, this makes me wonder about that the teacher:

  1. needs to therefore strive to be seen as a friendly adult (not necessarily a ‘friend’, per se), a safe harbour, so to speak.
  2. must know their students: as a student, as a person, but also as a reader (likes / dislikes, abilities and challenges as a reader, etc.)
  3. could function as ‘reading mentor‘, as it were, providing reluctant students with coaching for the critical skill of book selection as well as how to find out about new books and then to what degree a reader wants to connect with other readers. (Howard includes a very interesting exploration of a ‘Taxonomy of Teen Readers’ regarding how much connection and influence peers exert on teens’ reading.)

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Out on a limb… Mark Twain

Mother of Sandy Hook victim writes a heart-wrenching letter

https://m.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthefw.com%2Fmother-of-sandy-hook-massacre-victim-writes-heart-wrenching-letter%2F%3Ftrackback%3Dfbshare_mobile&_rdr

Opinion: Learning faster without teachers

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/27/opinion/ted-prize-students-teach-themselves?c=&page=1

Edutopia: Reinventing a Public High School with Problem-Based Learning

Really interesting video. I really like the summit based on a real-life issue.  I wish one of the teachers would post the mechanics of setting up and implementing what appears to be a very engaging activity for a wide swath of students. Plus, I would want to think through how this activity was evaluated for individual marks and not for catch-all group marks.

Modern Assessment Philosophy: Via ActiveGrade

Although it this is produced by a company, ActiveGrade, it still has some interesting points.

teacherken: A warning to college profs from a high school teacher

 Posted by Valerie Strauss on February 9, 2013 at The Washington Post.

From The Washington Post: “For more than a decade now we have heard that the high-stakes testing obsession in K-12 education that began with the enactment of No Child Left Behind 11 years ago has resulted in high school graduates who don’t think as analytically or as broadly as they should because so much emphasis has been placed on passing standardized tests. Here, an award-winning high school teacher who just retired, Kenneth Bernstein, warns college professors what they are up against. Bernstein, who lives near Washington, D.C. serves as a peer reviewer for educational journals and publishers, and he is nationally known as the blogger “teacherken.” His e-mail address is kber@earthlink.net. This appeared in Academe, the journal of the American Association of University Professors.”

By Kenneth Bernstein

“You are a college professor.

I have just retired as a high school teacher.

I have some bad news for you. In case you do not already see what is happening, I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom, even if you teach in a highly selective institution.

No Child Left Behind went into effect for the 2002–03 academic year, which means that America’s public schools have been operating under the pressures and constrictions imposed by that law for a decade. Since the testing requirements were imposed beginning in third grade, the students arriving in your institution have been subject to the full extent of the law’s requirements. While it is true that the U.S. Department of Education is now issuing waivers on some of the provisions of the law to certain states, those states must agree to other provisions that will have as deleterious an effect on real student learning as did No Child Left Behind—we have already seen that in public schools, most notably in high schools…”

5 Ways Social Media Will Change The Way You Work in 2013