11 Comments
May 17Liked by Rebecca Birch

Love this piece, Rebecca! Your snappy word choice makes it a joy to read.

The Ben Jenson podcast was amazing! His take on ACARA's consensus approach was so interesting, and highlighted by you with your excellent example.

How about his comparison with the Alberta v Auatralian chemistry curriculum? Loved it!

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Another great piece, Rebecca! Here you have stated five very good reasons why comfort-level reading choices are not the best idea during the precious minutes of a busy English classroom. I had not heard of 'sick-lit' before and had to look it up. When an example of 'The fault in our stars' was given I new immediately what was meant. With the addition of writing and grammar as essential parts to the new curriculum it is hard to see how 'reading for pleasure' can be squeezed in and beneficial.

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May 17Liked by Rebecca Birch

Rebecca,

I read through your entire piece because I wanted to understand where you were coming from. I disagree with much of what you write. Reading for enjoyment is definitely NOT a waste of instructional time. Reading is a skill, and students do not have to be instructed every minute of ever day. They need to see the value in literature to be lifelong readers and learners.

As an instructor, I assume you are a traditionalist as you cite Austen. Depending on your student body, Austen might connect with them or might not. We loved Austen because she spoke to us. Imagine having to read author after author who does not speak to us. If we were denied Austen as our heroine, we might be different people today. Now, put yourself in the shoes of today's learners. Many do NOT relate to Austen. So why should we make them read her?

Choice most definitely is NOT destined to fail most students. Lack of choice is where we fail our student as we assume they need to be mini models of us. They need to be authentic selves. They can make choices for themselves, and we need to empower them to do so.

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May 18Liked by Rebecca Birch

Another great post! I’d be grateful if you would send me some of the books you’ e taught and would recommend. I always learn from you!

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I meant a list of books…not the books!!!!

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That would be greatly appreciated, Rebecca. Thank you!

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