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I am the author of 16 books including my latest: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (Tarcher-Perigee). http://amzn.to/2ewwfbp.
4 Responses
  1. Kiljoong Kim

    While the criticism to Coleman’s approach is valid, I also believe that his perspective is slightly misinterpreted here. His suggestion to read for the text itself is simply a good practice in order to understand any writing. But once it is read and digested fully, formation of opinions and emotions would be the ultimate purpose of literature. If one were to compartmentalize reading in such manner, Coleman and Armstrong are both right. Having said, our little ones who have yet to develop those critical skills and need to be trained on reading based on Coleman’s approach. More importantly, we ought to have this discussion with our teachers so that they can develop children who can read better, and then think better. That would be only way for us to sustain consumers of literature in the future.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful response to my blog post. I certainly agree that children need to become critical readers, and to do this, one must pay close attention to the text. However, the best way in which children can do this is through careful questions that the teacher poses to students that force them to think in depth about the material they are reading. The point I was trying to make in my post, is that Coleman’s approach is too one-sided; that, to cut off opinion, attitude, background, and other non-text events (even during the beginning of the reading process), is to first, limit the student’s appreciation of the reading material, and second, stifle the student’s intrinsic love of reading by focusing on artificial “reading comprehension skills” instead of simply enjoying the act of reading. I never see goals in these top-down standards lists that say: “will develop a profound and abiding interest, joy, and wonder, in the act of reading for its own sake.” This must come first, and represent most of what educators do.

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