Marj Kirkland: The Gap of Understanding

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Slides from keynote address of Marj Kirkland, president of the Children's Book Council of Australia, 2009-2010, at the Hands On: Literacy in the 21st Century Classroom and Library conference, Nov. 15, …

Slides from keynote address of Marj Kirkland, president of the Children's Book Council of Australia, 2009-2010, at the Hands On: Literacy in the 21st Century Classroom and Library conference, Nov. 15, 2008, Singapore

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  • 1. Reading : Bridging the Gap Keynote Address by Marj Kirkland Incoming National President, Children’s Book Council of Australia 2009 - 2010 Teacher-Librarian, Aquinas College, Gold Coast, Queensland Illustration from “The Cloudchasers” by Steven Hunt and David Richardson
  • 2. Telegraph. co.uk Sats results: School reading standards drop
    • Sats results reveal almost a third of 14-year-olds are unable to read to an acceptable level.
    • Just 69 per cent of pupils achieved the standards expected of their age, compared to 71 per cent last year.
    • Among boys, the drop was even more dramatic...
    • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/education/2545952/Sats-results-School-reading-standards-drop.html
  • 3. Literacy Results Alarming!
    • Literary reading in America is not only declining among all groups, but the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.
    • (Literary reading = novels, short stories, poetry or drama of any type in any print format including the Internet.)
    • http:// www.nea.gov/pub/RaRExec.pdf
  • 4.
    • O’Loan, J 2008. Classes missing out on basics. The Courier-Mail, October 10, p.3.
  • 5. 2008 Kids & Family Reading Report
    • KIDS & READING www.scholastic.com/readingreport
    • A majority of kids say they like to read books for fun.
    • 1 in 4 kids aged 5 – 17 reads books for fun every day.
    • Reading frequency declines after age 8 and is stronger among girls than boys.
    • TECHNOLOGY & READING
    • Kids believe technology can complement not replace book reading.
    • Kids of all ages (62%) prefer to read books printed on paper than online.
    • Nearly two thirds of tweens and teens have extended their reading experience via the Internet.
    • PARENTS’ ROLE
    • Parents overwhelmingly view reading as the most important skill a child needs to develop.
    • Trouble finding books they like is a key reason kids say they do not read more frequently.
    • 82% of parents say they wish their child would read more books for fun.
    • Parents who read frequently are 6 times more likely to have children who read often than those who read infrequently.
  • 6. Is the term "Australian culture" an oxymoron?
    • The main ingredients of Australian culture
    • 1. Watching television (42 million hours a day)
    • 2. Listening to the radio (15.9 million hours a day)
    • 3. Reading (8.9 million hours. The Bureau also established that 77% of us read newspapers, 58% read magazines and 48% read books at least once a week)
    • 4. Outdoor activities -- playing sport, exercising (6.2 million hours)
    • 5. "Audiovisual media" -- using a computer (5.8m)
    • 6. "Games/ hobbies/ arts/ crafts" (4.9m)
    • 7. Video/ DVD watching (2.4m)
    • 8. Visiting entertainment and cultural venues (1.3m)
    • 9. Religious activities/ ritual ceremonies (1.3m)
    • 10. Listening to recorded music (1.1m).
    • - ABS figures quoted by David Dale, “Who are we” column, Sun-Herald, 1 June 2008
  • 7. Why read? What benefits does reading give us?
  • 8. Melk
    • The Melk Monastery Library http://curiousexpeditions.org/2007/09/a_librophiliacs_love_letter_1.html
  • 9.
    • Gutenberg’s printing press ‘unchained’ books, making them available to the working classes.
    http://curiousexpeditions.org/2007/09/a_librophiliacs_love_letter_1.html
  • 10. Dr Seuss
    • “ The more that you read,
    • The more things you will know,
    • The more that you learn,
    • The more places you’ll go.”
    • - Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • 11. Oprah Winfrey…on reading…
    • “ Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.”
  • 12. Bryce Courtenay… The book that changed my life
    • The only thing I ever stole in my life was a book. I was six years old and it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen, bound in wonderful red Moroccan leather. No one would read it in a million years — it was about the abolition of slavery — but it was magic because I learned to read with it. I was born illegitimately in South Africa and raised in an orphanage. The first thing I ever remember is being hit. I had an English name, a terrible stigma at the time, because of the Boer War.
    • A temporary teacher called Miss Bornstein was the first person to take an interest in me. I trusted her and I asked her to help me read that stolen book. She must have thought there was something in this little kid, for she agreed. From then on, she sent me a book a month and it saved my life. Through books, I could escape the orphanage, in my head at least, and go anywhere a story took me.
    • Reading inspired me and I finished up winning a scholarship to a posh boarding school. Without reading, I'd have become a railway fettler or a drunk. I used to invent stories and serialise them for the bullies, in exchange for not being beaten. It was survival, so that’s where it all comes from.
  • 13. Reading and literacy/academic performance are directly linked
    • “ The relationship between reported free voluntary reading and literacy is remarkably consistent.”
    • – Stephen Krashen
    • “ The data also showed that students who read for fun nearly every day performed better on reading tests than those who reported reading never or hardly at all.”
    • - N ational Endowment for the Arts Report, NY Times, 19 Nov., 2007
    • There is a close link between the amount of time children spend reading for pleasure outside of school and attainment in school.
    • - National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) 2007, Readers and Reading
  • 14. Reading is power over words, thoughts, feelings and experiences…it is the power to choose, the power to decide. - Gwen Gawith
  • 15. “ This book is a bridge. You cross alone. The landscape entered is your own.” - From “Over the Bridge” by John Loveday
  • 16. Reading bridges the gap of understanding between real and imagined worlds. - Shaun Tan Reading bridges the gap of understanding between real and imagined worlds. - Shaun Tan
  • 17. Film, art, literature…the inner self…
    • “ Through performance she discovers herself. “She knows she’s playing a part, yet by playing a part she reaches the truth…It’s probably like me making a movie – somehow your task is not the reality of you, but it is probably the truth of what you are, some hidden power inside.”
    • Ang Lee, movie director
    • We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anais Nin
  • 18. The storyteller…
    • “ The storyteller is deep inside every one of us…it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, that represents us at our best, and at our most creative.”
    • Doris Lessing, acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature, 2007.
    • In ‘ The Guardian’ , December 8, 2007
  • 19. Reading fiction is a social simulator “ For the first time in history, there is now scientific evidence that reading fiction really does have psychological effects. Fiction is a simulation that runs on the software of our minds…it is a kind of simulation of the social world. ..just as people’s skills as pilots improve when they spend time in a flight simulator, so people’s social skills should improve when they spend time reading fiction.” Research by Mar, Hirsh, dela Paz, Peterson and Oatley reported in: Oatley,K 2008 ‘The science of fiction’, New Scientist, 28 June, p.42-43.
  • 20. Literature opens the door to compassion
    • Literature bears witness to what it means to be human…
    • Readers bring books alive…It is in the simple act of reading that we exercise…compassion and creativity.
    • - Junot Diaz (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2008)
    Milan Kundera believes there is a “curtain” – a host of preconceptions that stand between us and the world. A novel’s special task is to capture the sheer “ambiguity” of life. Its job is not to console or preach but to show “ some hitherto unknown bit of existence”. - Milan Kundera (author of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The Art of the Novel”)
  • 21. The hero of the book (“The Outsider”) is condemned because he doesn't play the game ... He refuses to lie. Lying is not only saying what isn't true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler. But Meursault, contrary to appearances, doesn't want to make life simpler. He says what he is, he refuses to hide his feelings and society immediately feels threatened.
  • 22. Michael Rosen Children’s Laureate, UK
    • “ Literature …supports and challenges readers…in their views of themselves, whether it’s in their families, friendship or cultural groups or social class. It offers glimpses of human behaviour beyond those available or known to the reader.”
    “ Only when all children are in a book-loving environment will they achieve literacy, yes, but a lot more: a confidence in handling abstract ideas, an understanding of a multiplicity of viewpoint and the complexity and diversity of human interaction that comes through reading widely and often.” “ SATS literally failing”, Guardian , 21 August 2008
  • 23. What is ‘reading’?
    • We really need to expand our
    • definition of what reading is.
    • - Jon Scieszka, the US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
    • 29% of young people who defined themselves as non-readers were actually reading outside of school but they did not feel that the material they were reading was socially defined as reading.
    • “ Young people’s self-perception as readers”
    • http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Policy/Selfperceptionpolicy.doc
  • 24. By concentrating on tasks and doing things in different ways, our brains’ electrical circuits are rewired, permanently imprinting and creating new brain maps. - Dr Norman Doidge
  • 25. Is Google making us stupid?
    • “ We are not only what we read,
    • we are how we read.”
    • Maryanne Wolf, author of “Proust and the squid: The story and science of the reading brain”
    “ Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Internet, a style that puts ‘efficiency’ and ‘immediacy’ before all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged [with]…the printing press… When we read online, she says, we tend to become ‘mere decoders of information’. Our ability to interpret text, to make rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.” http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google
  • 26. If they are reading, WHAT are they reading? “ Reading may be harmful to your kids:…” (Tom Engelhardt, 1991) Children’s reading is marked by ‘glut and deprivation’…Many books were formulaic and predictable… Often, the most popular books were linked to film and TV characters. “ Buried alive: Our children and the avalanche of crud” David Denby “ Our kids…are shaped by the media as consumers before they have a chance to develop their own souls.” “ The general cumulative effect of this pop culture is to make consumers out of children, not responsible citizens…” As quoted in “Sticks and stones” by Jack Zipes
  • 27. New definitions of literacy…
    • Shaping and
    • making meaning
    • of text in a
    • corporate
    • controlled
    • media
    • environment…
    • Exposing
    • Employing
    • Expressing
    • Ethics
    Dr Allan Luke – Critical literacy – Stresses the importance of teaching students not just to read, but to understand their world, to be constructive sceptics .
  • 28. Reading is life’s great second chance…
    • Reading provides inspiration and the source for a way of life.
  • 29. Will old methods of teaching work?
    • “ The lesson couldn't be clearer. Until we do a better job of introducing contemporary culture into our reading lists, matching books to readers and getting our students to buy in to the whole process, literature teachers will continue to fuel the reading crisis…
    • But if we really want to recruit teen readers, we're going to have to be strenuous advocates for fresh and innovative reading incentives. If that means an end to business as usual … so be it. We can continue to alienate teen readers, or we can hear them, acknowledge their tastes, engage directly with their resistance to serious reading and move gradually, with sensitivity to what's age-appropriate, toward the realm of great literature.”
    • Nancy Schnog. “We’re teaching books that don’t stack up”, Washington Post August 24, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/22/AR2008082202398.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
  • 30. Our mission : Bridging the gap between online and text reading “ It’s our job to take digital natives – teens saturated with images in video games and on YouTube – and get them to strike up a relationship with pictureless chains of black print and focus on the decidedly internal rewards of classical literature…” Nancy Schnog. “We’re teaching books that don’t stack up”, Washington Post August 24, 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/22/AR2008082202398.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 Karen Brooks “An impossible passion” Ignore popular culture at your peril. Are different reading environments complementary? Can the digital environment actually enhance reading?
  • 31. Implications of the Scholastic study
    • Despite kids’ involvement with technology, kids hold reading books in high regard.
    • We can leverage kids’ interest in technology to spark a greater interest in reading books.
    • Parents’ own reading behaviour can influence kids’ reading relationships.
    • TV does not inhibit reading – Neuman
    • Computers do not inhibit reading – Krashen
  • 32. Kids extend their reading experience on the Internet by…
    • Looking for more books in the same series
    • Looking for books by the same author
    • Going to a book’s website or author’s website
    • Going to websites with videos about the book or author
    • Visiting a fan website
    • Going to websites with blogs about the book or author
    • Going to a chat room or message board about the book
    • Going to websites with podcasts about the book or author
    • Writing their own online review of the book
    • By going online to extend their print reading experience, children have:
    • Learned what other people thought about the book
    • Learned new things about the book or its themes/content or about the author
    • Told their friends what they did or discovered online
    • Connected with other readers and felt like they were part of a group
    • Scholastic
  • 33. Brisingr
    •  
    • We recommend:
    • Shur'tugal.com A New Generation of Dragon Riders
    • Click to view more Alagaësia Fan Sites
    •    
    • Calling all Alagaësia fans! Look below for a collection of activities.
    • Be friends with Eragon ! Check out Eragon's favorite music, books and more on his MySpace profile!
    • Talking Trilogy with Christopher Paolini ! Read Christopher Paolini's responses to questions from the fans!
    • Alagaësia Adventure Game Click here to play this interactive fiction game based on the Inheritance trilogy!
    • Alagaësia Fan Sites Check out what other fans have to say about Eragon , Eldest , and everything Alagaësia.
    • Eragon Pronunciation Guide The last word in Eragon pronunciation guides, with audio clips for each entry.
    • Eragon Character Poll Which Eragon character are you most like? Answer all the questions to find out!
    • Screensaver Download the spectacular Eragon Screensaver. Version: PC | Mac OS9 | Mac OSX
    • Trivia Quiz Put your knowledge of Alagaësia to the ultimate test.
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    • http://www.alagaesia.com/index.php
    Click to view more Alagaësia Fan Sites                          Shur'tugal.com A New Generation of Dragon Riders we recommend: Calling all Alagaësia fans! Look below for a collection of activities. Be friends with Eragon ! Check out Eragon's favorite music, books and more on his MySpace profile! Talking Trilogy with Christopher Paolini ! Read Christopher Paolini's responses to questions from the fans! Alaga ë sia Adventure Game Click here to play this interactive fiction game based on the Inheritance trilogy! Alagaësia Fan Sites Check out what other fans have to say about Eragon , Eldest , and everything Alagaësia. Eragon Pronunciation Guide The last word in Eragon pronunciation guides, with audio clips for each entry. Eragon Character Poll Which Eragon character are you most like? Answer all the questions to find out! Screensaver Download the spectacular Eragon Screensaver. Version: PC | Mac OS9 | Mac OSX Trivia Quiz Put your knowledge of Alagaësia to the ultimate test. Eragon Web ring Download the official button .  
  • 34. What will the future be like when books and technology merge?
    • When reading a book online, people will be able to tag and share their favourite parts and their thoughts about the book with other people who are online.
    • Books on the Internet will have links to different kinds of things like games, websites, and other people’s opinions .
    • When reading a book on a computer or other electronic device, people will be able to type notes to themselves and highlight their favourite parts in the book.
    • Just like the music playlist on an iPod, people will have all their favourite books stored electronically on a computer or other electronic device. It will be like a personal electronic library.
    • When people read for fun, they will read most books on a computer or on some sort of electronic device.
    • Books will have secret codes and links to websites where people can join virtual worlds .
    • Kids see reading online as a gateway to social activities, including sharing thoughts and feelings, playing games, collecting, and extending the reading experience more generally.
  • 35. Enabling adults make the difference… Adapt old strategies to new technology
    • 6 strategies to get
    • adolescents to read :
    • Capitalise on interests
    • Make reading material accessible
    • Build a conducive environment
    • Allow time to read in school
    • Provide significant adult models
    • Use motivational techniques
    • Clary, L. 1991 ‘Getting adolescents to read’ in Journal of Reading , 35, 5, p.340.
  • 36. Inside a dog – State Library of Victoria - writer in residence, competitions, downloads etc. http :// www.insideadog.com.au / Inanimate Alice http://www.inanimatealice.com/ 'Inanimate Alice' tells the story of Alice, a young girl growing up in the first half of the 21st century, and her imaginary digital friend, Brad. Over ten episodes, each a self contained story, we see Alice grow from an eight year old living with her parents in a remote region of Northern China to a talented mid-twenties animator and designer with the biggest games company in the world. Read Alert http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/services/education/youthlit/readalert/ CMIS – List of author blogs http://cmisevalff.edublogs.org/ya-author-blogs / Read Alert A Blog about youth literature
  • 37. Literacy needs a community-wide approach.
  • 38. If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero
  • 39.
    • “ The illiterate of the 21 st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
    • - Alvin Toffler