Monday, August 5, 2013

How School Ruins Reading

It's time for another Discussion Monday. Today's topic: How school ruins reading. I'm a big believer that the education system is messed up and being done wrong. I think one of the biggest things they've screwed up is English classes.

Elementary school is the biggest offender. They sort you into groups based on your reading level and make the not so good readers feel stupid and give praise to the smart little know it alls. They base these groups on how well you read out loud (mostly), or at least that's been the way I've seen it happen. Well this doesn't really work because some people just suck at reading out loud. Like me. I can read fine in my head but don't ask me to read in front of people or I'll be stuttering and will barely be able to get through it. It's more nerves than anything else. You see kids are smart, people don't give them enough credit. If you put a kid in the bad reader group they're going to know. Sure the teacher can lie and tell them that they're the same as everyone else but the kid isn't going to believe them. And when somebody, or a messed up system, tells you that you aren't good at something you aren't going to want to do it. If somebody says you are terrible at sports and makes fun of you, especially at a young age, you aren't going to want to do sports. It's the same with reading. Thus causing a lifelong hate and fear of reading.

I think one of the ways to overcome this is to not sort kids into these groups. And that goes for every subject. Instead of treating each of the students different based on their skills they should all be put on the same level. Some kids aren't going to be as good as others, but that's just part of life. They either need to catch up or fall out. The real world doesn't help you by making thing's easier for you. Being soft is one of the biggest crimes against humanity there is.

Jr. High and High school have a habit of making people read books that are old, and for most people, hard to understand. I'm not one of those people but the majority of students these days are. I think if schools picked more modern books students wouldn't hate it as  much. Most teenagers (again, I'm not one that thinks this way) think that if something is old it isn't going to be good. So they just don't try. Teachers get mad when kids don't do their summer reading but did they ever stop to think that maybe the books on the list were ones that kids weren't going to be interested in? Maybe if they picked better books more students would read them. I've asked several of my non-reader friends why they don't read and most of them either said it's because "it gives them headaches" (which is a stupid excuse, clearly you just need glasses if that's the case) or that they didn't want to read the books from school because they're boring. So I asked why not pick a book for yourself and after a bit of prying we get the conclusion that because school books are boring all books must be boring. It's an incorrect conclusion, but it's what most arrive at.

So I think school really does destroy reading. I think school creates a hate of books and a negative feeling for reading. I don't think school is doing books right and I think something needs to change. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I agree that in elementary school, they shouldn't assign children into groups because of their reading levels, but I don't think they should all be on the same level for any subject because for the kids who find a subject easier, they won't be challenged enough and that isn't fair either. Elementary school is where you learn your basic knowledge and you find your strengths and weaknesses in academics. Some people may do bad in English class, but may be the class star in Science class. I don't like the idea of being forced to read aloud in class either, I don't think it's necessary and I think it makes kids more self-conscious. I agree that school ruins reading for children and since some kids don't like the books being read in class, they aren't going to read books outside of class either because they have the idea of "Why would I read a different book if I'm not going to read the one I'm supposed to?". In the preschool I work at the kids LOVE to read and to be read to and I think it has to do with the fact that those books are in their reading levels and they enjoy them. Once you get to upper grade levels, the situation changes and you're being forced to read books you don't want to read. Another thing I don't like about the English department is how you are being graded by how well you write and I really don't think that's fair if someone is a poor writer and they receive a bad grade.