How horrible the reading skills of too many American students in public, private, and home schools!! Poor kids. That’s not fair to them. (However, a big part of the problem is not the teachers or parents, but the methodology used to teach reading — it is not based on a philosophy of reason and objectivity. What’s more, we also have a culture that does not value, or that disdains, reading and reasoning. Teaching and valuing reading properly depends on valuing and understanding reasoning properly. It’s not that most teachers or parents are out to do harm to their students and children, It’s that we have bad tools in our toolbox.)
Students are not taught to read: they are not taught to find the logical structure of a reading, to find evidence for an argument, to assess arguments, to identify how characters in a work of fiction feel about the world, to identify what an author of a work of fiction believes about the world. Reading is a critical skill: it gives us access to fully developed theories, i.e., fully developed thoughts, or to fully developed stories; it gives us access to the thoughts of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, whose advice, wisdom and thoughts are of inestimable value in our decision-making and hence lives; it and writing allow us to make the most of reasoning and logic. Without reading and writing we are, unfortunately, limited in what we can understand and hence do.
Reading and writing are critical skills to teach in education, if we want to prepare our children to live an independent, fulfilled, totally happy life.
I have been glad to have worked with some students on these skills. This is true value-added education!!!