Why should we read? Veteran reading teacher and literacy advocate Huang Kuo-Chen tackles head-on a question that most people consider so obvious, they don’t even bother to think about it. With deft intelligence and energizing practicality, Huang shows us how clear answers to this question can remove students’ resentment of reading that our blind faith in it often engenders.
Why do we read? The question feels so obvious – even silly – to most of us that we never even think carefully about our answer. Parents and teachers remind us over and over that reading is a good habit, we hear about successful people who read a lot, and even those of us who find reading to be a terrible chore find ourselves repeating the same dictum to our own children years later. Yet, as teachers like Huang Kuo-Chen have noticed, repeated invocation of this dogma to students often makes them resent reading and treat it like an enigmatic chore of questionable value.
Huang Kuo-Chen begins this remarkable journey of insight by answering the kind of simple questions that young learners would ask, like “What is reading?” and “Why should we read?” Huang takes us one-by-one through the most common misconceptions and blind spots we carry about the nature and utility of reading in order to present us with clear, pragmatic understanding of it that will resonate with students. He addresses the problems attendant to parental education as well as primary school curricula via a wealth of examples that will be familiar to parents and teachers alike.
As an innovator and advocate, Huang Kuo-Chen brings to his task a commitment to clarity and utility that keeps the reader focused and following along. Reading Well is more than a guide for educators of all kinds; it is an invitation to understand the act and value of reading in a wholly different light.