Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at https://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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New Google Lit Trip! Until the Last Spike, Journal of Sean Sullivan...

New Google Lit Trip! Until the Last Spike, Journal of Sean Sullivan... | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Google Lit Trips, educational nonprofit, award winning, educational technology, place based storytelling, reading about reading
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
17 May 2016

Announcing the publication of a brand new Google Lit Trip for Until the Last Spike, the Journal of Sean Sullivan, a Transcontinental Railroad Worker, Nebraska and Points West, 1867 by William Durbin. 

 "Until the Last Spike, The Journal of Sean Sullivan, is about a fictional character named Sean Sullivan and his journey working on the Transcontinental Railroad. It's August 1867 and Sean has just arrived from Chicago, planning to work with his father on the Transcontinental Railroad... Sean discovers the rough and rowdy world of the towns that seem to sprout up from nowhere along the railroad's path over the prairie...Through Sean's eyes, the history of this era and the magnitude of his and his fellow workers' achievements come alive." – Goodreads


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Study Finds Less Anger, Disgust and Surprise in 20th Century Books

Study Finds Less Anger, Disgust and Surprise in 20th Century Books | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A study from the University of Bristol finds mentions of anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise decrease in English books of the 20th century.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

This is an article I'll probably be contemplating for several days. And, I suspect it will join the legion of previously read thought-provoking articles that pop back into my consideration for some time.

 

I'm not sure if this logic holds since the article references books written over the entire 20th century. But, it did occur to me that at least for the last several years, maybe decades, publishers have used market demand more than literary excellence as a prime short listing technique when deciding what book to invest in publishing. 

 

Yes there have been great works published. And yes, market demand has influenced who or what has been published for centuries. But the recent "advances" in data mining have raised the "Trump Value" of market demand seriously. I suppose this may partially explain the success made recently in alternative publishing possibilities. So many well-written books have been rejected by the traditional publishing houses, yet have found tremendous popularity among readers open to the kinds of writing not so easily identified as "marketable to large enough audiences to justify the cost of publishing."

 

I really don't normally like to speculate based upon my immediate thoughts until I've really had a chance to reflect on them a bit. So these, "first thoughts" may be entirely off the mark.

 

However, the first thought that stimulated my decision to scoop and comment on this article had to do with the suggestion that for the last 100 years or so there has apparently been a fairly consistent trend away from stories tending to focus upon anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise. If this is because the market for those themes (4 of the 6 being fairly negative) then wouldn't it be interesting to run the same analysis on the most commonly taught books in classrooms?

 

What if we discovered that 4 out of 6 of the books we teach focus heavily upon negative emotions?

 

I know, I know. We need to get students to begin to understand and form personal belief systems related to how to deal with the harsh realities of life; to see the Atticus Finches showing us that good people can do good in bad societies; that Huck Finns can come to realize the evil in unexamined status quo social norms and decide to "lilght out for the Territory" because they'd come to understand that they "can't go back" to the not so civilized "sivilized" beliefs of the Aunt Sallys of the world.

 

Sometimes I wonder if we might balance the "harsh reality" lessons a bit more with some "life inspiring" examples of communities rather than just the individual hero or heroine rising above the forces of evil.

 

It's early and only a first thought, but what if there is some truth in suggesting that...

 

If we're not selling what they're buying, then we should not be surprised that they're not buying what we're selling.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

 

 

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Literature class a service alternative for some county offenders - SunGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette

Going before a judge in a courtroom with a probation officer by your side generally means that you have offended society and need to pay the price.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Bravo!

 

Though it was probably not the ability to identify the use of extended metaphor or the ability to select a correct definition for "protagonist" or "iambic pentameter" from a multiple choice list of 4 possible correct answers that changed the lives of these offenders, there is a more difficult to measure, but far more important potential value that results from reading literature.

 

Perhaps we ought not to lose sight of what literature brings to our lives whether we happen to be inclined towards becoming English majors or not.

 

I just wonder how we can best quantify that value. 

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

 

 

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GERM that kills schools: Pasi Sahlberg at TEDxEast

Activist & Education Director Pasi Sahlberg brings what he has learned from the education system in his native Finland to United States' parents, teachers an...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

SPOILER ALERT: I recommend this video HIGHLY.

 

That's a spoiler alert? Well sort of. 

 

I wanted to start this entry with two warnings  about the serious challenges I found in watching this talk, but didn't want to scare anyone off. 

 

The first challenge is the speaker's, shall we say, uhm... slow start? He seems a bit uncomfortable, speaks as though he's not sure what he wants to say and doesn't mention the intriguing word "GERM" in the video title until what was probably only a few minutes into the video, but he managed to make it feel as though it were "many" minutes. I got extremely close to clicking the close box.

 

But that word "GERM" kept me tuned in long enough to finally hear him get around to what I had come around to watch. And, it was extremely interesting.

 

He had warmed up, found a comfort zone, sliped in a few funny because I sort of like corny jokes, jokes. 

 

By the time he finished his talk, I couldn not help but think that the case he builds "against" the Global Education Reform Movement merited some significant consideration.

 

Those of us who are proud of the work we've done in pursuit of Education Reform and still believe that there is much more to do than has been done would be well served to to watch, contemplate and wonder where in our efforts the case built in this video fits.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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