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Why We Need to Read As Much As Possible

The aims of school must not be so focused on preparing workers (Wolk, 2007). As citizens we have a civic responsibility to care for our democracy, and it is supposed to be one of the primary aims of our schools to help students learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to participate in the daily governance of our nation (Engle, 1960). Our country and democracy are in urgent need of caretaking. We have vital problems that need the voices and ingenuity of our citizens. John Dewey wrote that democracy is not just a form of government or even the act of voting. Those are the “mechanical” elements of democracy. Dewey (1939) argued that the most important form of democracy is as a Breitling Bentley replica( way of life. He wrote, the heart and final guarantee of democracy is in free gatherings of neighbors on the street corner to discuss back and forth what is read in uncensored news of the day, and in gatherings of friends in the living rooms of houses and apartments to converse freely with one another, (p. 10)

Teaching citizenship and government is typically seen as the responsibility of social studies teachers, but it cannot be limited to those classes. Since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the teaching of social studies has been pushed aside in the zeal to increase reading and math test scores (Dillon, 2006). And as research continually shows, students have very negative attitudes about their social studies experiences. Zhao and Hoge (2005) interviewed 300 students and over 95% “did not think their social studies class was relevant to their personal life” (p. 218). Social responsibility must go far beyond basic citizenship; it is about shaping human beings with intellectual curiosity, a caring heart, and a belief in the common good. It should be one of the essential purposes for school—all of school—so every teacher must work to integrate this essential knowledge into their classroom curriculum. Teaching with young adult literature is one of the best ways to make that happen.

We are living in deeply troubling times. The problems confronting our nation and the world can seem overwhelming. Half of the people on this planet live on two dollars a day. Each day 30,000 children die—largely from poverty—and thousands of acres of rainforests are destroyed. And in the United States nearly 50 million people have no health insurance, the United States ranks 28th in infant mortality, and a report on the happiness and well-being of children in wealthy nations lists the United States as 20th— second to last (Unicef, 2007). The time is urgent for all schools and teachers to awaken their students Replica IWC( consciousness to the world and help them develop the knowledge and inspiration to make a better world, from local to global.

When an attack ad replays an opponent’s blunder, the purpose is often to make the mistake concrete for the audiences. For example, in a 1976 commercial, Gerald Ford reminded workers gathered around him that Carter had promised to lower taxes for those below the median income and raise taxes for those above the median income. But the median income in this country turned out to be lower than Carter had imagined. Ford then said that he didn’t think the people surrounding him needed to have their taxes raised.When the blunder is not a concise synthetic statement but part of a long rambling answer to a question, it cannot be used very effectively, either in news or in an add A commercial that opens in the middle of an opponent’s sentence or cuts from the sentence before it is finished invites us to conclude that the statement has been taken out of context. This saved Ronald Reagan from hearing replays of his 1976 statement that he might order the use of troops in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The statement came in the middle of a long, rambling, involved answer that did not lend itself to use in an opponent’s commercial. Instead, the Ford campaign assumed audience familiarity with the statement and created an ad that warned, “Governor Reagan couldn’t start a war. President Reagan could.”

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