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Lecture Be Gone: 'Balanced Literacy' Unleashes Student Talents

New York Schools Chancellor Encourages More 'Balanced Literacy'

A new approach to reading and writing where student lead the discussion, known as balanced literacy, is becoming a trend in Manhattan's public schools. New York Schools Chief Carmen Fariña is encouraging teachers to adopt balanced literacy and let students choose many of the books they read. 

Balanced literacy combines several approaches to reading and writing, according to The New York Times. The strategy is based on the idea that children are natural readers and writers, and teachers only need to create the conditons to "unleash their talents."

"Under the method, long-winded lectures by teachers were discouraged, and students worked frequently in groups--called workshops--to read and write," said the article. "Speling and grammar were de-emphasized in favor of literacy. Textbooks were scrapped in favor of classroom libraries teeming with novels and plays. And students were encouraged to write about social justice issues and tell their personal stories."

"I believe the world is comprised of a lot of nonfiction reading, and we need to put that in there," said Fariña. "But I still don't want to lose the sense that kids write about things they're personally involved in and write about their own memoirs."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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