We all know formal test scores can’t ever really substitute for a student’s learning and what really goes on in the classroom. Unfortunately, this is a losing battle. Many think we’re going in the wrong direction with our overzealous testing strategies.
One of the biggest concerns for parents, teachers, students and administrators is how reading is tested and it’s changing place in society. With computers and more technology in the world, subjects like printing and cursive handwriting are already on the decline in most elementary schools.
So how has teaching and learning reading changed? More than ever, reading and how it is taught and tested is at the forefront of our minds.
What Is the State of Reading?
In today’s classroom, you will find large class sizes and overwhelmed teachers trying to make the best of the current situation. Budgets are cut, and funds for buying new books to encourage students learning are lagging.
Although everyone knows reading is fundamental and the key to a better and more fulfilling life, it is thrown by the wayside due to testing demands. Reading hasn’t always been the most popular subject in school, but there’s a definite lack of enthusiasm for it in today’s classrooms.
Reading is not coming in the form of books anymore, but rather small articles and specialized reading programs on the internet. Interacting with a book or talking about it in small groups is becoming nonexistent.
Students are losing their love for reading because they are becoming disconnected to it. Libraries and media centers are doing their best to collect more kid-friendly books and do activities encouraging reading and exploring curiosity through reading.
Elementary test scores are telling us we are failing our students.
Just teaching to a test will not help these students survive in real life, nor will it help them become critical thinkers. Testing is not allowing the students to create an imagination anymore.
Also, the pressure on the teachers to provide high scores is too much and their teaching styles and creativity in the classroom are becoming limited. The proposed change to test scores is grading based on writing and comprehension in a less standardized form. In the future teachers hope to help students by going over reading and methods of reading as part of learning.
Is Reading Forever Lost?
Unfortunately, reading as we use to know it is a dying subject. Hopefully in future, schools will take a more active role in reading and hire more teachers with a UC K-12 Reading Specialist Graduate Certificiate to help kids along their way.
Reading is not done so much in books or magazines, but rather via some electronic form. Whether it be on a tablet or on the internet, the actual physical book reading life is waning.
It can be good in one aspect, because more information can be held on a portable device than in just one book. But some tactile feeling or emotion may be lost when we take away the physical properties of reading. Engaging in the printed page is something being lost in our time.
Only time will tell if our love for electronics will kill our zeal for stories on paper. Reading to pass some test should not be our goal, but rather something to be enjoyed.
What things have you done to encourage your kids to read? Please leave your remarks in the Comments below.