Reading in the Primary Grades

Cover of book Reading in the Primary Grades
Categories: Nonfiction



ECATUR, ILLINOIS HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON, NEW YORK AND CHICAGO Cambribge COPYRIGHT, IpJS, BY HOUGHTON M1FFL1N COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 3 INC . ft CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS . S . A TO MY CO-WORKERS CONTENTS EDITORS INTRODUCTION vil I. READING AS A THOXTGHT PROCESS i II. PROBLEMS IN EXPRESSION 30 III. PROBLEMS IN FORM MASTERY . . . .41 IV. SOME SPECIAL METHODS IN THE TEACHING OF READING 63 V. THE RECITATION PERIOD AND THE STUDY PERIOD 103 VT. THE TEACHERS ATTITUDE TOWARD RESULTS .114 OUTLINE 119 EDITORS INTRODUCTION THERE is a sense in which the subject of reading is the most important study in the elementary school. The need to teach children to read cre ated the school. So long as men learn to do and to know chiefly through their own acts, sponta neous or in imitation of others, the institution of apprenticeship suffices. When it becomes im portant that youth should know what their elders have experienced, the informal telling of the story is enough. But when men are to be guided by poets, seers, and statesmen, long since dead, they must have recourse to the written or the printed record. And the use of the wide ranges of experi ence that literacy allows means that the power to read must be taught by a teacher in more or less continuous contact with the child. One may pick up skill by watching a workman one may learn the common speech by ordinary asso ciation with men who work and talk but one can never learn to read by looking at a book over the shoulder of the reader. The marks are too conventional and the readers vicarious experi vii EDITORS INTRODUCTION ences are unseen. The reader must step aside from his own business to reveal his mind and the established sense of the black marks before him. When he does this he has created a school. His torically, the first schools were reading schools. Even in the modern school, however different it may be from its progenitor, the obligation to teach children to learn through reading is its outstanding technical function. No one who is discreet in thought believes that an illiterate man is completely ignorant. The illiterate man can learn through direct participation, that is, through doing. He can even learn vicariously, through indirect participation that is, through the experiences of those with whom he talks from hour to hour. What illiteracy means is that he cannot learn from that largest body of accumu lated wisdom, the knowledge and idealism stored in books. It is the school, superimposed on a life of action and conversation, which teaches him to read so that the deeds of the whole world are added to his own life, and the whole of history put alongside his own short acquaintance with reality. The literate man is one who has the largest potential experience at command for the guidance of his own career. In so far as the modern school is an experieace viii EDITORS INTRODUCTION giving institution, it may well make its life more largely active and objective, with more of sociable conversation in it for these are the natural and vital ways by which men and women, as well as children, learn. They are, indeed, necessary as a basis for that less vital appreciation of life which comes through the printed page. But while the experiences they give are clutching, their extent is limited. Through doing one learns from his own individual life through conversation, from the group in which he is a member but from books one has all civilization at command. Learning through reading is the third and largest circle of experience into which the growing life of the child reaches. So far as the analysis of the educative function of reading has a bearing on teaching methods, it emphasizes the purpose of thought-getting... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Reading in the Primary Grades
+Write review

User Reviews:

Write Review: