Reading Ecosystem


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A discussion document from Through the Magic Door to frame the issue of disengaged readers, identify the stakeholders for improving self-motivate and self-supported reading, and providing a foundation for identifying what can be done to address the issue.

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Reading Ecosystem

  1. 1. Reading Ecosystem<br />
  2. 2. © Through the Magic Door<br />2<br />Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. - John Adams<br />If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.<br />- Albert Einstein<br />Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.<br />- Benjamin Franklin<br />Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable. <br />- George S. Patton<br />
  3. 3. © Through the Magic Door<br />3<br />I cannot live without books<br />- Thomas Jefferson<br />A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.<br />- Frederick Douglass<br />When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.<br />- Desiderius Erasmus<br />It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations.<br />- Winston Churchill<br />Any reading not of a vicious species must be a good substitute for the amusements too apt to fill up the leisure of the labouring classes.<br />- James Madison<br />
  4. 4. © Through the Magic Door<br />4<br />It is wonderful that even today, with all the competition of radio, television, films and records, the book has kept its precious character. A book is somehow precious.<br />- John Steinbeck<br />The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who&apos;ll get me a book I ain&apos;t read.<br />- Abraham Lincoln<br />Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing.<br />- Cicero<br />There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.<br />- Andrew Carnegie<br />It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.<br />- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle<br />
  5. 5. © Through the Magic Door<br />5<br />Take up and read, take up and read!.<br />- Confessions (397) by Saint Augustine<br />Yet if my name were liable to fear,<br />I do not know the man I should avoid<br />So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,<br />He is a great observer, and he looks<br />Quite through the deeds of men<br />- Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare<br />Reading maketh a full man.<br />- Essays (1625) by Francis Bacon<br />There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it, the other that you can boast about it.<br />- The Conquest of Happiness (1930) by Bertrand Russell<br />My early and invincible love of reading, which I would not exchange for the treasures of India.<br />- Memoirs of My Life and Writing (1796) by Edward Gibbon<br />
  6. 6. © Through the Magic Door<br />6<br />Context<br />This document solely focuses on those parties that have an interest in the fostering of a vibrant and enthusiastic reading culture. Specifically, we are not examining education at large, schools in particular, assigning blame or seeking to advance any particular agenda, pedagogical technique, policy or solution.<br />The effort here is to agree on some boundaries of the issue (how to define and measure), identify root causes for any perceived shortfall, propose solutions to rectify those root causes, and determine where there might be opportunities for the various stakeholders to collaboratively work towards a a shared goal of a larger population of Self-Motivated and Self-Supported Habitual Readers.<br />
  7. 7. © Through the Magic Door<br />7<br />Situation<br />10% of the population does 80% of the reading.<br />50% do no elective reading in a given year.<br />Aside from the personal loss this represents to individuals, this high concentration of reading bodes ill for effective participation in an economic and world environment predicated on high levels of knowledge, imagination, empathy/collaboration, critical and analytical thinking, and social and moral judgment; all attributes fostered by habitual reading.<br />
  8. 8. © Through the Magic Door<br />8<br />How Does Reading Help You?1<br />Desirable<br />Life Outcomes<br />Behaviors &<br />Traits<br />Accelerated<br />School Skills<br />Actions<br />Empathy<br />Sustained Focus<br />Curiosity<br />Imagination<br />Pattern<br /> Recognition<br />Forecasting<br />Social and Moral<br /> Judgment<br />Critical Thinking<br />Analytical<br /> Thinking <br />Health<br />Income and Wealth<br />Status<br />Employment <br /> Opportunities<br />Career Choices<br />Options<br />Stability<br />Education<br />Civic roles<br />Etc.<br />Decoding<br />Vocabulary<br />Numeracy<br />General<br /> Knowledge<br />Conversation<br />Reading<br />Storytelling<br />
  9. 9. Proposed Problem Statement<br />
  10. 10. Too few children (and adults) are self-motivated and self-reliant habitual readers. <br />
  11. 11. © Through the Magic Door<br />11<br />Reading Intensity Among HS Seniors and Adults<br />Population<br />Books Read<br />100%<br />10%<br />80%<br />40%<br />60%<br />80%<br />40%<br />50%<br />20%<br />No Elective Reading<br />20%<br />
  12. 12. Potential Measures of Progress<br />
  13. 13. © Through the Magic Door<br />13<br />Potential Measures<br />Number of books read (per year)<br />Number of books purchased<br />Number of magazine subscriptions<br />Number of newspaper subscriptions<br />Hours spent reading<br />Pages read<br />Library circulation<br />Etc.<br />
  14. 14. Potential Root Causes<br />
  15. 15. © Through the Magic Door<br />15<br />Personal<br />School<br />Not expected<br />Not pleasurable<br />Not useful<br />Work, Social, TV, Sports<br />Social issues<br />No time to <br />read<br />Unfamiliar with<br />variety of books (A)<br />Don’t value <br />Reading (B)<br />Infrequent <br />training<br />Ineffective <br />instruction<br />Don’t understand<br />causative relationship<br />Inconsistent<br />instruction<br />Not valued (B)<br />Eyesight<br />Unfamiliar (A)<br />No examples<br />Not interested<br />Unqualified<br />Reading<br />environment<br />Administration<br />Don’t enjoy<br />Unfamiliar with<br />variety of books (A)<br />Don’t know how to<br />support reading<br />Too little <br />instruction<br />Too few <br />children read <br />to their <br />greatest <br />advantage<br />Low reading<br />Time <br />constraints<br />Little social <br />enrichment<br />Restrictions on<br />reading<br />ESL<br />Poor vocabulary<br />Doctrinal <br />purity<br />Low home talking<br />Unfamiliarity with <br />variety of books (A)<br />Can’t recognize<br />Not valued<br />(B)<br />Ideology issues<br />Budget<br />No good<br />books<br />No <br />bookstores<br />Can’t afford to buy books<br />Don’t have time to check out<br />No books in<br />classroom<br />Don’t know what like<br />Can’t choose<br />Too many<br />interruptions<br />No room<br />Restrictive school<br />library policies/hours<br />Don’t know how to<br />coach/instruct<br />Not valued<br />(B)<br />No books in<br />home<br />No expectations<br />Hours<br />Unfamiliar with<br />reading<br />No public<br />library<br />Social<br />isolation<br />Can’t afford<br />Don’t value <br />Reading (B)<br />Location<br />No examples<br />Home<br />Access<br />
  16. 16. © Through the Magic Door<br />16<br />Assumptions<br />While there is certainly a potential issue around the efficiency with which the US education system produces readers and while there are pockets of real illiteracy, by and large the issue is not one of incapability of reading but rather disengagement from reading. The school systems are bringing the horse to the water but the horse isn’t drinking.<br />Reading is a gateway skill to academic and life success. 2<br />
  17. 17. © Through the Magic Door<br />17<br />Assumptions (cont’d)<br />Data and experience support the proposition that the first six years are crucial to the establishment of a reading culture.3<br />The root causes can be aggregated into five key issues standing in the way of establishing a reading culture:<br />Unsupportive school reading environment<br />Poor family communication<br />Lack of familiarity with books<br />Low valuation of books and reading<br />Access<br />
  18. 18. © Through the Magic Door<br />18<br />Assumptions (cont’d)<br />Self-motivated, self-supporting habitual reading exists among all economic quintiles.<br />Habitual readers are a greater share of the population in the higher quintiles but are a minority in each quintile.<br />The probability of habitual reading is most closely correlated with the education levels of parents regardless of race, residence (country versus urban), income, etc.<br />
  19. 19. © Through the Magic Door<br />19<br />Habitual Readers (the 10% of total population) as a Percentage in Each of the Income Quintiles (estimate)<br />100%<br />4.5% of ΣPopulation<br />22.5% of Quintile<br />80%<br />3% of ΣPopulation<br />15% of Quintile<br />60%<br />1.5% of ΣPopulation<br />7.5% of Quintile<br />40%<br />2.5% of Quintile<br />0.5% of ΣPopulation<br />20%<br />0.5% of Σ<br />Population<br />2.5% of Quintile<br />
  20. 20. Reading Ecosystem<br />
  21. 21. © Through the Magic Door<br />21<br />Reading Ecosystem<br />Who has an interest in fostering a reading culture?<br />What are the vehicles of their influence?<br />What are the activities they support that might foster a culture of reading?<br />How do those activities mesh with the identified root causes?<br />If those root causes are addressed, will they foster the desired outcome of a population of self-motivated, self-supported habitual readers?<br />What opportunities for rationalization, refocusing and identification of new activities exist to achieve this goal?<br />
  22. 22. © Through the Magic Door<br />22<br />Current Reading Ecosystem<br />
  23. 23. Assessment of Reading Culture Activities <br />
  24. 24. © Through the Magic Door<br />24<br />For Each Organization, a Review of Existing Initiatives Against the Root Causes Constraining a Reading Culture<br />Illustrative Example<br />
  25. 25. © Through the Magic Door<br />25<br />Footnotes<br />See Why Habitual Reading is Important, Through the Magic Door, 2008.<br />See Why Habitual Reading is Important, Through the Magic Door, 2008 and Growing a Reading Culture, Through the Magic Door, 2009 for citations to research.<br />Ibid.<br />
  26. 26. © Through the Magic Door<br />26<br />Contact Information<br />Should you have any questions about this presentation, please contact us.<br />Charles Bayless<br />Through the Magic Door®<br />1579 Monroe Drive<br />Suite F150<br />Atlanta, Georgia 30324<br />E-mail:<br />Office: (404) 898-9096<br />