Sunday, July 17, 2016

Conversation Starters

Conversation Starters

Starters or Stoppers? That is the Question.

“At its best, literacy starts conversations that can bring people closer together in understanding and connectedness. Literacy falls short of that promise when what passes for sharing books actually interrupts or stops such conversation.
Ideally, literacy, like conversation, is a means for offering others information, feelings and experiences. Authors carefully craft what they wish to express hoping readers thoughtfully consider their messages. This sharing, across space and time, represents a slow, asynchronous initial interchange that models and can lead to further in-person conversations about the content of written messages.

As young children progress into formal education, they are taught the technicalities of reading and writing, of course, but to yield fully literate graduates, those technical skills must not supplant but complement the abstract understanding, hopefully developed years earlier, that literacy is a formidable, human communication tool. Literacy serves most powerfully to book-end personal inquiry. And it is inquiry—investigations that extend one’s own life experiences—that is at the core of independent human learning. When children (and adults!) reflect upon their lives’ experiences, learning occurs most efficiently and completely when their inquiry is focused upon what they find most interesting.

So, if caring adults invite a child to share about his own interests when reading a…”

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