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'Slow Reading' Method Catches On in U.S. Schools

'Slow Reading' Method Catches On in U.S. Schools

In schools across the nation, a new teaching method is catching fire: "slow reading."

"It's not necessarily just about reading slowly, it's about having a relationship with what you're reading; you feel a connection to an author," said Professor Thomas Newkirk in an article on 620WTMJ.com.

High school teacher Kreigh Knerr also sees the benefits of slow reading, which is the practice of sitting down to read a book "slow and steady."

"It really helps people to engage more complex ideas," Knerr said. "They're used to being able to read 30 pages and it takes them, ya know, maybe an hour for the 30 pages, and then, all of a sudden, now, it's 10 pages or 15 pages that take up an hour."

According to the article, Knerr's students said "their high school work is easier because of the class, but they warn there is a learning curve."

"The discipline it takes to slow read can be challenging at first, but it's very rewarding," said student Payson East.

Another student, Amber Dieringer added in the article, "I wouldn't say getting into slow reading was extremely difficult, but it was a drastic change. I had to think more and I wasn't used to that."

Newkirk said that " the practice can balance out timed teaching often used in elementary school."

"When we teach kids, like, with a stopwatch, where you have to read things and the teacher has a stopwatch, you're kind of saying, 'fast is the only way,'" he said. "And, I think what you want to do is to say, there are a lot of speeds, but slowing down is really important."

Professor David Mikics, author of "Slow Reading in a Hurried Age," offers tips on "re-training your brain":

  • Be patient. It will take time for your brain to slow down.
  • Re-read passages and pages when necessary.
  • Use a dictionary to look up words you don't know.
  • And think about why specific language is used.

"Slow reading doesn't have to become a set way of life where that's the only way you ever read things again," said student Matthew Baughman in the article. "But, it is definitely a method where you'll enrich your own life and become a better person for it."

Read the full story and comment below. Have you tried slow reading with your classes? What does that look like?

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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