Readicide (Paperback)

How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It

By Kelly Gallagher

Stenhouse Publishers, 9781571107800, 160pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2009

List Price: 26.67*
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Description

Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.

 

Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline—poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools.

 

In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by:

·         valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers;

·         mandating breadth over depth in instruction;

·         requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support;

·         insisting that students focus solely on academic texts;

·         drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia;

·         ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; and

·         losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures.

 

Kelly doesn’t settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.


About the Author

Kelly, a "baseballoholic" and a self-described expert at negotiating airports, is in his 33rd year of teaching at the high school level.

He currently teaches at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California.

He believes that "there is no greater pleasure than teaching someone something." Teaching is "artistic, it matters a great deal, and I can never get the job down perfectly."

Kelly thinks that professional development should treat teachers as such - professionals. "I know in the classroom that good things happen when my students have meaningful discussions. I know as a teacher myself that my craft sharpens when I am given the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with my peers. And let's have a laugh or two while we are at it."

Writing his six books for Stenhouse was a solitary experience. "Though I have written outlines prior to each of my books, I have yet to follow any of them step-by-step. That is why I find writing rewarding - because the act of writing itself generates new thinking, and new thinking is always exciting."



Praise For Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It

"Those with a vested interest in the education of American youth--in other words, everyone who has reached the age of reason--should read this book and share it with others." - American School Board Journal


"Rather than dwelling on the problem, Gallagher centers on explaining concrete ways schools can improve literature teaching, focusing on comprehension and producing lifelong readers." - Catholic Library World


"Readicide is an intriguing look at many possible solutions to the problem of the decline of reading in American schools." - Midwest Book Review