Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 12, 2008

Reading Reeves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mandy @ 9:57 pm

I thought that the reading from Reeves was very informative, but I really started to enjoy it when she focused on her first case study in chapter three. My research project for Dr. Kennedy’s class is related to resistant readers, so I found the case studies particularly interesting, and perhaps even useful for my paper for her class.  In the beginning, Reeves claims that “no one…had prepared me for resistant readers”  and I think that this is gradually changing in education programs. I feel like the program has discussed reluctant readers at length in several different classes, and I am glad for that, especially since she documents how difficult it was not being prepared for or really even informed about this issue. 

In chapter two I noticed that a lot of reoccurring ideas from last semester appeared, such as the fact that reading follows no “universal norm” and work with various literacies, and her work with identity formation. Due to repeated exposure to these issues, I feel confident discussing them, and rather knowledgeable about them. I could also relate to Reeves’ students in chapter two when she wrote “students in this study repeatedly referred to the conflict they felt with both the institution of school and the assignments of particular teachers who promote its goals and cultural values” ( ). I think that we, as teachers, may perhaps be able to identify with these students, as many of us liberal minded teachers emerge from this liberal program and try and change some of the inherent values in schools.

 I thought Sting’s story was really depressing, as he represents an example of a student who could have done anything, but many factors lead to his declining love of reading. Although many of the factors Reeves documents are out of out his and our control, there are some that are in our control and power to change. For example, it was evident that Sting was not interested in school when he clearly stated “I hate it when people are trying to teach me something I don’t want to learn” (40). I think it is rather obvious from this statement that he was very uninterested in school, and making school interesting is our responsibility. He even then says, “if its something I’m interested in, I like reading it” (41). Problem and solution. Duh. And we want to make things as interesting as possible, as Reeves also points out that “a curriculum that is removed from students interests makes the teaching job as difficult as the learning job” (45). For someone who is doing poorly in school, Sting sure seems pretty darn smart to me. Further, Reeves writes that “he clearly knew how to use reading and writing for his own purposes” as she illustrates with the songs that he wrote. He is obviously very intelligent, as seen from the various excerpts Reeves includes. I personally like the one at the bottom of page 54, when he sounds very anti-establishment. Basically I feel like everything Reeves discusses in this chapter reinforces what we have talked about in many of my classes. Those who can’t/don’t and won’t, WILL in the right context, under the right circumstances, and with a darn good teacher. 

-Mandy

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1 Comment »

  1. Mandy, thank you for such an insightful post on Reeves. I hope others will follow. I came to this book as a veteran ELA teacher but I found it revelatory. I hope you will continue to share your responses to the reading here on the blog. One of the things that’s most heartening about this response is your being able to say that you have been exposed to and had opportunities to investigate further in your program just those issues Reeves is addressing.

    Reeves does bring us face to face with real adolescents whose “refusal” can be extremely daunting to a traditionally prepared ELA teacher. Increasingly, I hope, you are finding ways to respond to and work with readers in classroom environments where one size most definitely does not fit all. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 13, 2008 @ 7:46 am


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