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Reading Interests Compared with the Content of School Readers

by Emma B. Grant & Margaret L. White - 1925

Most of the pedagogical aims so long stated for teaching reading fall short of what should be the real aim and interest—to teach the child so to love books and reading that he may, as Dr. Frank M. McMurry once said, "learn to care deeply for many worthwhile things." Such an aim puts no limit on the reading activity of the child, for each book that he reads leads on to further reading. The test of the teaching of the reading lesson is not what the child does in that lesson when the teacher is present, but what he does when no teacher is present to demand that he engage in reading. One must not be unmindful of the fact that the reading habit is formed by daily and often arduous steps, involving such lesser aims as phonics, word drills, sight vocabulary, eye movements, use of dictionary, training in speed and a host of other mechanical features. Nor are these always unpopular or unpleasant tasks, since the clever teacher makes them as homeopathic as possible. But too often the teacher and the child become so concerned with the preparation for reading that they miss the intrinsic joy of reading. To say that the "aim of reading is the interpretation of thought from the printed page with accuracy and a reasonable degree of rapidity" is not a good statement of the aim, for it lacks vision and the broad purpose involved in "a-love-of-books" aim. It is the means to the end, not the end.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 26 Number 6, 1925, p. 480-497
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 5982, Date Accessed: 5/28/2020 12:48:36 AM

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  • Emma Grant

  • Margaret White

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