Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather overthink the cultural phenomenon of summer.[audio:http://www.overthinkingit.com/media/otip373.mp3]
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@Wrather – Horseback riding and fort building? Was this some kind of pioneer fantasy camp?
@Pete – I’m going to quarrel with you a little about summer reading lists. I agree that you personally didn’t need them. I’m not so convinced that MOST students don’t need them. Let’s put aside the issue of whether kids are reading enough in general. (They’re not, but I’m not even gonna go there.) Kids tend to stick to what they know, and I say that as a parent who has purchased 563 Percy Jackson books. Summer reading lists are supposed to challenge you and take you out of your normal wheelhouse, while hopefully not being a total snoozefest. You can argue that many summer reading lists are uncreative, overly long, or needlessly dull, and you’re probably right. But I have no problem with the concept.
“…supposed to challenge you and take you out of your normal wheelhouse…” I’d like to challenge you on that. That’s not exclusive to books/reading. The point is to read. The content is almost irrelevant – or relevant in that it should be enjoyable enough to keep kids reading. The goal isn’t musing over the content, but the very act of keeping focus and reading.
But I do agree media should challenge – whether it’s to expand your viewpoints, or to anger you enough to further research and better reinforce existing viewpoints.