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On Learning to Read: The Child's Fascination with Meaning


reviewed by Patricia Brown 1983

coverTitle: On Learning to Read: The Child's Fascination with Meaning
Author(s): Bruno Bettleheim, Karen Zelan
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0394711947, Pages: , Year:
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When the pressure came to have the schools return to basic skills, educators like Knecht in Hesse’s The Bead Game had to compromise: The men of principled simplicity Will have no traffic with out subtle doubt. The world is flat, they tell us, and they shout: The myth of depth is an absurdity! . . . In order peacefully to coexist Let us strike one dimension off our list. . . . The third dimension is dispensable. Bettelheim and Zelan, both child psychologists with extensive clinical experience with disturbed children and a particular interest in learning to read, tell us in their new book that the dimension of depth cannot be dispensed with if our aim is to have children grow up to love reading. They insist that reading is not only a rational activity, but it is also rooted in the unconscious through the emotional element that surrounds early experiences with reading. Only if those experiences are... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 84 Number 4, 1983, p. 963-965
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 837, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 1:36:15 PM

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About the Author
  • Patricia Brown
    Adelphi University
    PATRICIA BROWN is emeritus professor of education at the Center for Humanistic Education, Adelphi University. Her specialization is in philosophy of education and she is particularly interested in ways of teaching that relate the analytic and intuitive modes of thought.
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