Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Fighting Against Dumbing it Down in Education

Thank you Kate Di Camillio, for the beautiful text in A Tale of Despereaux.  Several years ago, before the movie came out, I fell in love with this story.  I read it to my second graders with a little hesitation.  The artistry of the novel does not sound like that of a child's book.  If read slowly, with an explanation of significance of light and dark, good and evil, heroes and villains early on in the book, there just might be enough support for my students; the background they need to attain some of their own understanding.  There's so much research out there that insists we as educators don't dumb things down. Contrary to that there is additional focus on being explicit in our instruction.  As with everything, balance is important.  This is a time I need to make sure and not over-teach so as not to kill the story.  I hope the children will be as engaged as I am by the writing of Kate DiCamillo.

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