Philosophy of Reading
What is reading? It seems a simple question but with no easy answer. A technical description could be: the act of retrieving information from a system of symbols. But reading is much more than that. It can shape the way we think and react. Reading demands discipline and thoughtfulness. Reading a sentence, a paragraph, or a page demands concentration, determination, and attention. Reading is purposeful and meaningful. And reading takes consistent practice. Reading requires a lifetime commitment. This commitment is what we, as educators, should want our students to walk away with. Now the question is, how do we do that?
Children exemplify diverse learning. It is imperative that instruction reflect that belief. Therefore, a balanced, eclectic perspective toward literacy must be applied. A balanced literacy program must include explicit instruction in phonic analysis and exposure to authentic text. Children need time to explore and participate in creative, meaningful activities in order to internalize the reading process.
An effective balanced literacy program does not prescribe to one answer for all learners. It allows the educator to individualize instruction to meet the diverse learning styles within the educational setting. Children need to become aware of their preferred modality and use it as a strategy for self-improvement. This self-actualization will motivate students to become proactive participants in the reading process.
Reading is a literacy process where students need to be active participants in meaningful listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Our responsibility as educators is to expose our students to such activities and experiences; activities that will foster an empathetic relationship between the writer and the reader as well as momentarily transform their world into a colorful dream.