Many parents believe that social media, electronic games and the internet are sweeping reading out of the lives of young people.
However the 2013 NAPLAN national report notes a ‘moderate increase in performance in Year 5 reading’ and ‘encouraging signs of continued improvement in Year 3’.
In earlier research young people claimed that computer games and the Internet had not reduced their reading.
Moderate increases, encouraging improvement, and students’ claims that they have not cut back on reading is a start but well over 227 teachers at more than 112 Independent schools in Victoria are learning how to use reading to spark rigorous philosophical enquiry and debate in the classroom. They are implementing the Junior Great Books program to develop thinking and discussion skills by emphasising ‘possibilities and meanings, wondering, reasoning, rigour and logic’.
Our partnership with the not-for-profit Great Books Foundation, established in the US in 1947, is making a difference in Australian classrooms by focusing on high quality literature from different cultures and times. All students gain from the program but particularly those with learning difficulties.
The Junior Great Books program teaches students to inquire, leading to improved comprehension, critical thinking, writing, speaking and listening. They contribute their own perspectives and learn to respect the views and interpretations of other students.
Teachers and students explain in this video on the Independent Schools Victoria website.