Monday, January 30, 2012

Shared Reading

Kristen and I have been trying to create a new tradition: shared reading. We pick an article, essay, or even book, load it onto the iPad--thanks David and Kathy!-- and read it aloud to each other while commenting upon it. Being the pseudo-researcher that I am, I've been attempting to find information on others who do this same process -- how they do it, tips, best types of reading material, etc. All I've been able to find is reading aloud for adults reading to children.

Which leds me to a question: why is reading such an individual activity now? As this New York Times article mentions, at one time reading was about as social an activity as one could have. (An interesting sub-note: the article also hints at the rapid consumerization -- privatization -- of media interaction.)

I can think of few other ways of interacting with a partner that promotes as much growth and thought. Even with our few short sessions sharing our readings, it's been obvious that we are better understanding the text, filling in each other's gaps in understanding. With more complicated texts, such as journal articles and other conceptually complex material, the participants have to reconcile their own understanding with that of the author's words while also being challenged or questioned by the other participant. The shared quest to find meaning in dense texts, in our experience, leads both participants closer together in their thinking. It's also been a lot of fun.

1 comment:

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