As a part of my Masters program in Innovative Learning I am being asked to create an Action Research Question. Here are the preliminary thoughts I have and where I think I'm headed with a question I would like to further explore through data collection and inquiry-based learning.
I can't wait to investigate further and will share my process here on my blog as I go!
Research Question: How can I foster reading stamina in my classroom?
Subquestions: What obstacles do students face with reading? What cultural or socioeconomic factors come into play when students are presented with reading opportunities? What role does community expectation play in fostering reading stamina? Are we concentrating less on reading stamina at the high school level than we did before the internet? Does the 1:1 environment decrease reading stamina? Does moving to more screen work and to less book work decrease reading stamina?
What I plan to do: I’m interested in reading about how others foster reading stamina and then I would like to try to apply those techniques in my own classroom. I would also like to investigate the phenomenon of lowered reading stamina to see if this is actually the case for 1:1 classrooms and how that might effect what I do in my classroom.
Context/background for my question: I have a sneaking suspicion that as we move more and more toward screens, and more and more toward getting our information through video and audio, that reading levels and stamina are declining. I believe that this decline leads to students who can not access information on a deep level and that we are raising a whole generation of scanners, who only read for surface understanding.
I believe that when we limit our reading to surface level reading, we lose all sorts of access to complex thinking, reasoning and discernment. With more and more information available to students through the internet, the ability to discern pertinent information on any given topic is more important now, more than ever. It is not enough to let others curate our information. We must be willing to curate our own points of view on a given topic, read all supporting documentation on a topic and be able to analyze and synthesize all that written information.
Personal Biases: I have altered my own reading habits over the last few years due to the kindle, Facebook, Twitter and websites. I used to be able to sit with a book for hours at a time, reading until my heart’s content, but now, I find myself gravitating toward shorter articles, getting my news from Facebook, reading more and more about public opinion, opinion that is not necessarily backed up by facts and evidence.
I find myself having a harder time sitting down with a book for long periods of time and read a lot fewer novels and more FB posts, and I used to consider myself to be an avid reader. I AM reading more current events, which feels good, but maybe not much of substance regarding those current events. I also have a personal bias toward reading in general and have very high expectations for myself for reading. My own three children are not that into reading and that alarms me as a parent.
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!