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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Is “Screen Time” Dangerous for Children?

Is “Screen Time” Dangerous for Children? | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A child psychologist—and grandmother—says such fears are overblown.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
25 November 2016

Am I the only Literary Reading educator who has become a cheerleader for the importance of Informational Reading? Of course not. For this reason I found this article fascinating on multiple fronts. 

I remember one of the best lessons I learned about effective interviewing questions while teaching journalism.. "Avoid phrasing questions that can be answers "Yes" or "No." Instead, attempt to phrase questions that require an informed explanation. The same general rule also applies to the kinds of questions we ask when attempting to stimulate a contemplative, higher level class discussion. 

The phrasing of the headline for this article, which by the way, may not have been written by the article's author, runs the danger of reducing contemplation to a simplistic "either / or" in spite of the quite apparent complexity of the issue in question. "Yes" or "No" is a conclusion to be drawn ONLY after "Pros" or "Cons" have been considered. 

Okay. I know. There are forms of debate that begin with a statement to which debating teams take either an affirmative or or negative position and then argue their respective points of view. This is not unlike the Thesis Statement first then defense via Topic Sentences supported by evidence structure commonly taught in high school. It works when actual consideration of the pros and cons have been given due diligence. But, we all know the extent to which existing personal opinion can, and often does, short-circuit the due diligence ending up with attempts that choose a thesis prior to the due diligence and then defending the thesis via cherry picking supporting evidence and avoiding opposing evidence more than building an informed thesis after completing a balanced consideration.

The headline aside, this article nailed some of the best arguments to consider rather than merely turning up the volume on existing inadequately considered canned cherry picking and avoidance of sufficient depth of consideration of all the evidence.

Just a few of my favorite lines...

"My own childhood was dominated by a powerful device that used an optical interface to transport the user to an alternate reality. I spent most of my waking hours in its grip, oblivious of the world around me. The device was, of course, the book."

I love the intentional misdirection. From the beginning of the quote until the kicker last sentence, I was thinking TV.  I smiled at having been caught off guard. Happy to see the article turning in favor of books over screens. This is true even though personally, I lean toward book text viewed on a screen for the most part. 

Yeah accurate representations of books in any delivery system are fine with me. And, I believe literary books are a direct route to the wisdom of the ages that seem to get short-circuited in the simplistic tug-of-war between Literary Reading and Informational Reading.

And then the author threw me another curve ball, speaking the author's affection for books...

"As far as I can tell, this early immersion didn’t hamper my development, but it did leave me with some illusions—my idea of romantic love surely came from novels."

Ooh. ouch! 

So, where's she going with this? Is she really trashing books so that she can declare screen time the victor? 

Consider this quote from the article...

"The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend strict restrictions on screen exposure. Last year, the organization examined the relevant science more thoroughly, and, as a result, changed its recommendations."

Actually a quite clever set for killing the question favor of real question...

"The new guidelines emphasize that what matters is content and context, what children watch and with whom. Each child, after all, will have some hundred thousand hours of conscious experience before turning sixteen. Those hours can be like the marvellous ones that Augie and I spent together bee-watching [videos], or they can be violent or mindless—and that’s true whether those hours are occupied by apps or TV or books or just by talk."

Hoping to tease readers into reading the actual article, I'm choosing to purposely not address the author's last two paragraphs. I'll just say that the conclusion tosses the simplistic "Yes" or "No" in favor of the much more important consideration of "premature speculation."

brought to you by GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit

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Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works.

Please, no more brainstorm sessions. This is how innovation really works. | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

17 November 2015

 

I''ve always been a fan of  the following Dick Cavett quote...

 

"It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear."


Given the popularity of brainstorming in classroom practice, I can't help but wonder what proponents of classroom brainstorming make of this article.


If I might, I'd suggest that while reading the article use the informational reading skills you might be teaching. Aside from verifying the credentials and of the author, or should I say in addition to verifying the credentials of the author, I would ask myself the following three questions while reading:


1. What elements of the article do I absolutely agree with?

2. What elements of the article do I absolutely disagree with?

3. What elements of the article make points that cause me to at least pause to re-consider or refine my existing opinions on the subject?

 

I can't help but think that if we are serious about teaching both creative thinking and critical thinking, that we make certain we are asking our students to go beyond the first two questions above. If our students do not proceed to questions three, then we are enabling cherry picking as a means of defending the status quo of  both our existing opinions for as well as our existing opinions of the ideas opposing our own. 

Dare I say that we need only pay attention to the level of cross-idea evaluation that is being avoided in the public discourse during our current campaign season where candidates from both parties and from within a party can be attacked as having taken a position previously that they now do not hold.

The attack is that they are flip-flopping and are pandering to the polls.

 

The defense is that they are evolving as they continually reconsider their opinions in light of new information.

 

Dick Cavett had it right in my mind. I want to be receptive to at least considering elements of opposing arguments that might give me pause. 

In my mind, that's a requirement of truly "critical thinking."

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit
 

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Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 26, 2016 7:15 AM

17 November 2015

 

I''ve always been a fan of  the following Dick Cavett quote...

 

"It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear."


Given the popularity of brainstorming in classroom practice, I can't help but wonder what proponents of classroom brainstorming make of this article.


If I might, I'd suggest that while reading the article use the informational reading skills you might be teaching. Aside from verifying the credentials and of the author, or should I say in addition to verifying the credentials of the author, I would ask myself the following three questions while reading:


1. What elements of the article do I absolutely agree with?

2. What elements of the article do I absolutely disagree with?

3. What elements of the article make points that cause me to at least pause to re-consider or refine my existing opinions on the subject?

 

I can't help but think that if we are serious about teaching both creative thinking and critical thinking, that we make certain we are asking our students to go beyond the first two questions above. If our students do not proceed to questions three, then we are enabling cherry picking as a means of defending the status quo of  both our existing opinions for as well as our existing opinions of the ideas opposing our own. 

Dare I say that we need only pay attention to the level of cross-idea evaluation that is being avoided in the public discourse during our current campaign season where candidates from both parties and from within a party can be attacked as having taken a position previously that they now do not hold.

The attack is that they are flip-flopping and are pandering to the polls.

 

The defense is that they are evolving as they continually reconsider their opinions in light of new information.

 

Dick Cavett had it right in my mind. I want to be receptive to at least considering elements of opposing arguments that might give me pause. 

In my mind, that's a requirement of truly "critical thinking."

 

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED (dba Google Lit Trips) an educational nonprofit
 

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THIS IS WATER David Foster Wallace

Duration: 9 minutes and 22 seconds Year: 2005 Country: United States Language: English License: CC - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives Genre: Documen...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

POSTED: 12 SEPTEMBER 2013

 

Many thanks to Facebook for making it possible for me to stay in contact with former students, including Sara Burkhardt who was in one of my courses... shall we way, "more than a couple of decades" ago," Sara thought of me this morning when she posted this video to Facebook.

 

David Foster Wallace delivers a graduation speech on the power of willfull thinking. Though the video may be a bit depressing for the first 3-4 minutes, it is certainly a worth watching to the end as David Foster Wallace offers an excellent antidote to the problems associated with "default thinking."

 

A lesson well-worth being incorporated into our coursework if we truly mean what we say when we speak of the importance of critical thinking.

 

However, after benefiting from the lessons David Foster Wallace offers here, we must pause to contemplate the true sadness of today, the fifth anniversary of David Foster Wallace's suicide.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

"Google Lit Trips" is the official business name of GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Post-Election College Paper Grading Rubric

Post-Election College Paper Grading Rubric | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Dear Students,
Because I can no longer claim with any credibility that reading, writing, and critical thinking are essential skills fo
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
20 November 2016

Saw this site flash by in SNL last night. If you teach critical thinking, persuasive essay writing, irony or sarcasm, you may not think this is funny.

But then again...



 ~ www. GoogleLitTrips.org ~
brought to you by GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit
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Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion

Here's Why Walter Palmer Keeps Saying He 'Took' Cecil The Lion | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Used commonly among hunters, the euphemism reveals a culture of Orwellian doublespeak prevalent throughout the hunting world.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

4 August 2015

 

A most important informational reading skill is BiaS detecting.

 

An exquisite piece of Informational Reading focused upon the subtle, ways in which euphemism is used to disguise disinformation as unbiased information. 

  

   Cherry-Picked argument

+ euphemism

_____________________________

= powerful tool for fooling "way too many of the people way too much of the time.

 

If students "get it" here, it should be an easy bridge towards finding how euphemism is used by politicians, advertisers and others to paint a rosier than real picture of their position and a darker than real picture of opposing positions.

 

But don't let your students off the hook too easily. Challenge them to find examples where those representing positions they happen to agree with, who also have stooped to use euphemism for deception.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

Brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit

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Finding Oneself Through Literature « The Dish

Finding Oneself Through Literature « The Dish | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

So, yeah, I like the video, but ironically, it's a video that relies upon a rather idealistic and romantic view of literary reading education. This is not to say that it doesn't provide much to consider in terms of teaching with passion and from the heart.

 

But, it's the text commentary below that video that I'm more interested in noting here. There is something about our attempt to justify literary reading by indicating it's pragmatic social value; in this case the argument, with which I have no complaints, that literary reading teaches critical thinking and by extension is good for society, that isn't enough or should I say clear enough.

 

Truthfully, literary reading is in many senses a very personal journey and when well-done with the guidance of an expert literary reading educator, an even more enriching personal journey into one's unique places in both the personal and social fabric of understanding. 

 

Exploring one's personal place in the complexities of life through exploring the individual journeys of those fictitious characters in literature who represent the universal diversity of humankind connects the journeys of the many by personalizing them into personal connections for each individual reader.

 

Perhaps that critical thinking benefit of literary reading works because as individual readers contemplate their own motives and associated behaviors within stories expressing the wide diversity of human motives and their associated behaviors that both include and go beyond those of individual reader,s those readers might well come to understand reasons to revisit and revise their individual care lists.

 

And, perhaps it is THAT sort of personalization of critical thinking (aka introspection) that provides the potential for great benefit to all.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 "Google Lit Trips" is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit.

 

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