Pub. Date:
Stenhouse Publishers
Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It

by Kelly Gallagher, Richard Allington
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Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.

Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline—poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools.

In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by:

· valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers;

· mandating breadth over depth in instruction;

· requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support;

· insisting that students focus solely on academic texts;

· drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia;

· ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; and

· losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures.

Kelly doesn’t settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571107800
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 02/02/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 83,538
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 5 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kelly, a "baseballoholic" and a self-described expert at negotiating airports, is in his 33rd year of teaching at the high school level.

He currently teaches at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California.

He believes that "there is no greater pleasure than teaching someone something." Teaching is "artistic, it matters a great deal, and I can never get the job down perfectly."

Kelly thinks that professional development should treat teachers as such - professionals. "I know in the classroom that good things happen when my students have meaningful discussions. I know as a teacher myself that my craft sharpens when I am given the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with my peers. And let's have a laugh or two while we are at it."

Writing his six books for Stenhouse was a solitary experience. "Though I have written outlines prior to each of my books, I have yet to follow any of them step-by-step. That is why I find writing rewarding - because the act of writing itself generates new thinking, and new thinking is always exciting."

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Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
JDurham More than 1 year ago
This book and *Building Student Literacy Through Sustained Silent Reading* changed my thinking about reading in high schools. It changed my thinking so much, in fact, our high school is starting a school-wide SSR program. Educators- our students should be reading books. This book taught me WHY we should create time during the day for SSR. It taught me WHY we should teach *the classics*. This book taught me how to ENTICE students to pick up a book. This book reminded me how crucial it is that WE READ. If you are an educator and you complain or hear complaints that *our students can't read!*, then read this book. Then, read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an important read for all teachers K-12. If you struggle to get students to read, then you need to read Readicide.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be a requirement for every teacher. It clearly explains how we are teaching our students to hate reading and how to rectify this situation. It is relevant for every grade level. Forget the curriculum and teach these students to love and value the written word! So simple, and yet brilliant!
smouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book inspires teachers to find creative ways to encourage students to read more.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree with the author's assessment and suggested solutions. It was very sad that she sees no role for libraries in this equation.
ShellyPYA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice summary of the ways NCLB and how it forces teachers to teach to the test ruins students' love of reading. Offers some suggestions for ways teachers can teach literature without teaching so much to the test. Shows how NCLB is not really working, and how schools can "cheat" to get a better ranking.
dferb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author explains how school curriculum and Language Arts teachers, in particular, are destroying the joy of reading in our children. The overemphasis on skills, worksheets, prescriptive reading programs, and standardized tests have 'taught' kids that reading is boring and tedious. He uses examples from his own LA classes in Los Angeles high schools to show how we do this and how we can turn things around.This is an argument that has been going on for years. I can remember reading an article 20 years ago titled "why my sister hates Across Five Aprils" about teachers quizzing and analyzing the novel to death. We have to change our tactics if we really want to raise a generation of readers. Gallagher advocates teaching novels, incorporating SSR, and having kids read, read, read anything and everything. The books is annotated well with references to the research and includes a large number of suggested activities that can be used in any classroom. A MUST READ for all teachers, but especially for reading/LA teachers at all levels.
speedy74 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after seeing it referenced on a couple of English teachers blogs and I am glad I did. Gallagher affirms some of the phenomena I am seeing in my own classroom and supports it with current research data. While I haven¿t put his recommendations into practice yet, I think that reading this book may change my teaching practices forever. As a Language Arts/Social Studies teacher, I especially like Gallagher¿s suggestion that students should read at least one newspaper article per week to encourage knowledge of current events and to develop prior knowledge. I also like his suggestion to have students sharing copies of a newsmagazine such as Newsweek where each period has a designated day of the week to read either an article of the student or teacher¿s choice. The development of this type of prior knowledge is important to encouraging global citizenship as well as critical thinking skills.Another point I agreed with concerning Gallagher¿s work, is that teachers often make the mistake of over teaching a book to the point that the reading experience itself is ruined. Some of the books I¿ve enjoyed the most in my life were even more pleasurable the second time I read them because they were not beaten to death by a teacher! On the other hand, I agree with Gallagher when he asserts that teachers often make the mistake of under teaching a book. If students are reading a more challenging work, then they need support so that the meaning is easier to grasp. I think this is true in terms of setting up some prior knowledge such as: historical background, literary devices, biographical information about the author etc. Once students are involved in the book, Gallagher recommends decreasing that support and allowing the student to finish the book on his/her own so that they can enjoy what he dubs reader¿s ¿flow.¿ Finally, I really liked Gallagher¿s idea of spending roughly 50% of reading time on books of the students¿ choice, and 50% of reading time on books that are meant to challenge and develop better reading and critical thinking skills. The former helps to encourage lifelong reading for pleasure and the latter helps to encourage growth as a reader. Whether one is a new teacher fresh out of college, or a seasoned veteran, I think this is an excellent book to read!
katielder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book provided me with the current research on reading instruction that I had needed to support my own ideas about the "autopsies" kids are forced to perform on books in school, a practice that only gets worse in high school, as students are expected to do more and more with books of a growing complexity and challenge. No wonder they don't read anymore.
BelolanRoy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book for people who are not yet ready to give up the hole class novel, but ready to push themselves to prevent Readicide.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This slim but powerful volume minces no words—Gallagher believes that our obsession with standardized testing is killing our students’ ability to read critically. His argument relies on both research-based empirical evidence and his personal experience as a high school language arts teacher. While Gallagher’s blunt writing style (some might even call him melodramatic) could alienate some more genteel readers, he pours his passion onto the page, and there’s no denying his sincerity. But this is no mere polemic; Gallagher offers practical suggestions for improving reading instruction in meaningful and authentic ways. For example, he recommends that fully half of all reading that students do should be recreational—unassigned, unassessed, and chosen by the student him/herself. He acknowledges the value of fostering in students a sheer love of reading. Indeed, he insists that transforming students into independent readers—who actually ENJOY reading—is the only strategy that will help them succeed (a concept that is exquisite in its simplicity). Forget worksheets, standardized reading programs, isolated skill instruction, and decontextualized teaching. As Gallagher would say—be a teacher, not as assigner. I’m eager to use this text the next time I teach my course in urban literacy.
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