DO WE TEACH READING IN THE WAY WE READ BOOKS? “HUMAN” SIDE OF THE REDISCOVERY OF TEACHING
Why don’t our pupils want to read novels and poems? Why do we have so many problems with engaging pupils in reading, with shaping positive attitude to literature? I am in the process of ongoing research in the field of educational mode of reading and discussing literature with young people. The main research questions are: what is the difference between the way we read for ourselves and the mode of reading demanded by school authorities, educational policy and tradition? What conclusion comes out of this parallel? Questionnaires and interviews with the student teachers and in-service teachers of Polish Language Arts show the astonishing difference, or even the gap, between the private and “didactic” mode of reading and the use of literature. The research made so far (IBE, 2015) show the phenomenon of teachers’ devotion to the dual – and internally dissonant – paradigm of the approach to literature: human and school-centered. If the teachers of literature are incompatible with themselves when they are in the classroom, they are simply untrustworthy and ineffectual in their teaching. The contradiction between these two approaches to literature may be the most powerful reason for the growing reluctance to read among Polish young people.
The ideas of the school that is awakening (Rasfeld, Breidenbach, 2014) and of the rediscovery of teaching (Biesta, 2017) put the trustworthiness of the teacher in the centre of the new philosophy of education. On the other hand the philosophy of literature – readers’ response theory, Roland Barthes’ concept of (Barthes, 1973, 1978) – underline the pleasure-aimed or pleasure-centered mode of the use of literature, which in Polish school is still almost totally absent. What in fact is the pleasure of reading? Isn’t it just the pleasure of travelling, of imagining, of remembering and forgetting, of association, of categorizing, of intertextual and multimodal linking, of comparing and evaluating? How to reveal those dimensions of reading in front of the classroom, how to come clean with connections between literature and life? It is the matter of the rediscovery of teaching reading.
Barthes, R. (1973) Le plaisir du texte. Editions du Seuil. Paris.
Biesta, G.J.J. (2017) The Rediscovery of Teaching. Routledge. London and New York.
Dydaktyka literatury i języka polskiego w świetle nowej podstawy programowej (2015), Warszawa, IBE.