Pt. 3: Reading, Curriculum, and Relevance

As young adults pursue their careers, they often don’t have time to read for pleasure. But more importantly, they believe reading fiction is frivolous, whereas reading non-fiction has value. Non-fiction and textbooks obviously have value, but listen to this video:

Want a super-intelligent brain?

In the previous post from this miniseries (Pt. 2: Reading Comp Approaches for Teachers—How to Bring Back the Enjoyment of Reading), I discussed a growing trend among youth: they dislike reading books because of the “bad experiences” they had with novel studies in school. The two hallmarks cited were lack of relevance and too much menial work.

All subjects can be made interesting–even grammar, novel studies, and Shakespeare. Social Studies is hard to teach, but I’ve seen it done extremely well as well as poorly. Ditto math, English, and science. All can be taught in engaging, age-appropriate ways that are enjoyable and meaningful to the students. The key points to consider are relevance to our current world and brain development. If the students experience the curriculum rather than listening to it, they will internalize it.

Earn your students’ respect with these tips

readingbook-dreamstime_xs_36921945

  • tie in to the real world they live in
  • have expectations, but provide direction and information
  • believe in them
  • see the world through their eyes
  • uncover the information they are missing
  • use spontaneous teaching moments to give them what they need or want

In Pt. 4, I will discuss teaching science and the importance of exposing students to the concrete, physical world concurrently with the theory in their textbooks.

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
This entry was posted in Parenting/Education and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Pt. 3: Reading, Curriculum, and Relevance

  1. JJAzar says:

    I agree, any subject can be taught well, and the points you listed are crucial to teaching well. Tying things into the real world is incredibly important for students, especially when they’re young. I had a math teacher in high school who, every time he was asked, “What is this used for?” provided an exhaustive amount of examples. It was fascinating to see him rattle off what the math could be used for in day-to-day life. I also agree with your point about spontaneity. I’m not an educator (obviously, I’m a buffoon), but I know that teachers often go into every class with a plan. They have points that need to be made within their time frame. But sometimes open discussion takes the focus away from what was planned, and those discussions can be enlightening for those who are paying attention.

    I’m enjoying these posts immensely, Eva. I’ve never read about education before, but it’s an area which I find to be gripping. I may have to seek out some more content like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your valuable comments and feedback, J.J. I wholeheartedly agree with you about open discussion and using questions that come up as valuable teaching moments. This is when students are open to the ideas–because the curiosity and questions are coming from them–they are thinking about it this very moment, so this is the best moment in which to answer. I always use these student initiated teaching moments. It’s what makes my lessons so successful.

      As far as math, although there are real-life situations where math can be applied, the same questions asked of higher math are more difficult to answer. However, I finally nailed it. Why are you learning all that high-level math that you would only need as a math major or engineer? It’s developing your brain. You may not use the actual math, per se, but you will use the parts of your brain that the processes developed in order to solve real life problems you have to deal with as an adult. In short, math (and music and languages) develop more brain, and more brain equals more thinking and problem solving power, even for things unrelated to math, music, or a particular language.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JJAzar says:

        That’s a GREAT answer about the higher math. Problem-solving skills, logic, the works. It seems so obvious, but I’d never thought to present it that way in a classroom!

        Liked by 1 person

    • On a separate note, I value your insights as a student. Teaching does not (should not) happen in a vacuum. Teaching is tied to the student(s). Different students generate different lessons, even if the lesson plans were the same. That’s how I work, anyway. Teaching materials are tools, lesson plans are tools–each are adapted to students’ needs, whether for personal growth or for what the student will need in life. The two are interwoven.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Pt. 2: Reading Comp Approaches for Teachers — How to Bring Back the Enjoyment of Reading | Beyond the Precipice

  3. Pingback: Pt. 4A: Science Readiness — for Parents | Beyond the Precipice

  4. Pingback: Pt. 4B: Teaching Science — for Educators | Beyond the Precipice

  5. Pingback: June 2017 Roundup: Parenting and Education | Beyond the Precipice

What say you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s