How to Teach
July 5, 2007 10:46pm CST
So long as teachers fail to distinguish between teaching and learning,they will continu to undertake to do for children that which only children can do for themselves.Teaching children to read is not passing reading on to them.It is certainly not endless hours spent in activities about reading.Douglas insists that "reading cannot be taught directly and schools should stop trying to do the impossible." Teaching and learning are two entirely different processes.They differ in kind and function.The function of teaching is to create the conditions and the climate that will make it possible for children to devise the most efficient system for teaching themselves to read.Teaching is also piblic activity:It can be seen and observed. Learning to read involves all the each individual does to make sense of the world or printed language.Almost all of it is private,for learning is an occupation of the mind,and that process is not open to public srutiny. If teacher and learner roles are not interchangeable,what then can be done through teaching that will aid the chuld in the quest for knowledge?Smith has one principal rule for all teaching instructions."Make learning to read easy,which means making reading a meaningful,enjoyable and frequent experience for children." When the roles of teacher and learner are seen for what they are,and when both teacher and learner fulfil them appropriately,then much of the pressure and feeling of failure for both is eliminated.Learning to read is made easier when teachers create an environment where children are given the opportunity to solve the problem of learning to read by reading.