Friday, July 24, 2009

Is reading fundamental?

Many of you may recall the RIF movement of the '70s: reading is fundamental. It passed through public TV into the public elementary schools: content is not as important as the fact that they're reading. In the '80s we experienced DEAR: drop everything and read. I remember often thinking...what if it's Playboy? I mean, there are probably some good articles in there! O.K., that's not acceptable. So what about witchcraft? Or communist manifestos? Yeah, that's the ticket. Just as long as the kids are reading, the actual content isn't that important. I look back at the Electric Company show and see so much bickering between the that ideal for impressionable minds? No, but it's secondary to the paradigm that reading is fundamental. So this movement in education walked hand in hand with relativism: as long as it's your truth, no one should tell you it's wrong.

So now we have Harry Potter. I didn't like the withcraft part, but that wasn't the worst of it...see below. Just consider how many people will consider that editorial to be heretical to the religion of RIF. Think of all the kids who have been saved from illiteracy by Harry Potter. Yuk.

1 comment:

Tom Askew said...

I've had the same problem with Harry Potter all along, as well. For juvenile fiction in which heroes make principled choices and stand by them, work is valued, duty is not a dirty word, and sacrifices may have to be made in order for good to triumph over evil, see Lamplighter Books.