Teaching Teachers to Teach Students to Teach Themselves

the-question-is-the-answer-200x300The reading gap, or level of missing competency that can occur among students somewhere between grade school and high school, is closing, and a new book published this month by Molly Ness, PhD, is helping teachers make it happen.

Ness, an associate professor in childhood education at Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, has published The Question is the Answer, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). The manual is devised for teachers to help young readers become more familiar with expository text, a writing form common in news reports about world events, weather reports, recipes, and other adult-focused prose.

Ness noted that 10 years ago, children were spending the majority of their time entrenched in narrative text. Now, thanks in part to changes brought on by the Common Core, they’re reading 50 percent in narrative text and 50 percent in expository text.

The path to understanding a piece of expository text lies in posing questions, which has traditionally been the province of teachers who ask questions for students to answer.

Yet, research has shown that, at home, children ask one question every 2 minutes and 36 seconds, or between 400 and 1200 questions each week. Within one year, it’s estimated they’ll ask approximately 105,120 questions.

Ness’ book suggests that teachers should encourage the students ask the questions.

Read the full story at Fordham News.

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