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Weekend Links–Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 2011

Albert Anker - Schulknabe

Using textbook anthologies of poems, short stories and selections from longer works, heavily supplemented with lessons on the mechanics of each selection and answer-as-you-go comprehension questions, teachers do their best to help students identify types of conflict, note distinctions between genres of literature and summarize the author “point,” skills which students can apply to complete works through occasional book reports.  In short, they are taught to study literature. The danger is that while learning to study literature, students will miss the experience of learning (and learning from) the stories themselves

  • The “boy/girl book” debate continues here and here. Do you think there are books boys shouldn’t read (like Little Women or Anne of Green Gables)? Do they only like books with fart jokes?

Putting my books, or Captain Underpants or Shark Wars or the like into a gender ghetto as “boy books,” reinforces gender stereotypes that leave no room for a boy who likes poetry or a girl who marks Shark Week on her calendar as if it were a national holiday. Boys and girls alike want a well-told story; boys and girls alike want characters they can feel connected to; boys and girls alike are as varied in their tastes as adults. Gender generalizations, while seductive, don’t serve the goal they’re usually intended for — getting young people to read well and to read widely. more here

 

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