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ReadingQuest

Purpose


OVERVIEW
 Purpose
 Premises

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Stop for a moment and ask yourself these questions:

Do I ever say anything in class that's important enough for students to take notes on it? Do I teach my students how to take notes on the things I say?
Do I ever assign my students something to read, such as a chapter in the text or a magazine article? Do I teach my students how to read those things?
Do I think writing is an important enough skill that I require my students to engage in it from time to time? Do I teach my students how to write in social studies?

We know it's a general rule that students should not be tested or assessed on what they haven't been taught. Unfortunately, some of what we expect of students, and subsequently grade them on, actually involves skills and abilities that they may not have been explicitly taught.

Just because as adults (and perhaps even when we ourselves were students, although it's good to remember that most of us who are teachers were also pretty committed to our academics) we don't really think about how to read or what's involved in writing, it doesn't mean that our students also have no trouble with those things. They probably have not yet mastered the art of being independent learners. But the ultimate goal of education involves independence: the ability to be a thoughtful, reflective, self-directed, and autonomous citizen in our participatory democracy. We want our students to be good learners without us.

Good learners are strategic; they are able to choose from several options an approach to their learning which best suits the purpose of the activity. Good teachers are also strategic: they choose strategies and techniques of instruction that match the purpose of the instruction.

ReadingQuest has been developed under a philosophy that the best teachers, and the best students, are those who possess a storehouse of strategies for accomplishing their educational objectives. Not only is it vital to have a toolbox, but one must know how to organize the contents of that toolbox. This leads to several questions:

  • Which strategies help focus on main ideas?
  • Which involve the synthesis of different ideas?
  • Which actively engage, and which promote intellectualizing the content?
It is with a picture in mind of a student who knows or is able to do what the objectives call for that efficient teachers select strategies.

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This site was created
and is maintained by
Raymond Jones.

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This page was last updated on Sunday, 26-Aug-2012 04:48:04 EDT.
   URL for this page: http://www.readingquest.org/purpose.html.

© 1998-present by Raymond C. Jones, PhD