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Articles on Reading

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Many of the genes for maths and reading overlap. Businessman via alphaspirit/Shutterstock

Better at reading than maths? Don’t blame it all on your genes

I disliked and feared maths for most of my school career and dropped it as soon as I possibly could. My mother recalls me crying as a five-year-old because: “I can’t do the people-on-the-bus sums”. If…
Don’t panic, she still likes books too. Todd Morris

Kindle vs books? Children just don’t see it that way

A furious debate has been raging for some years now between adults. Are you a Kindle lover or a devotee of the good, old-fashioned book? As the e-book spreads into children’s publishing, some look in terror…
Forget the daily grunt… can we learn more vocab today? kaarsten child image via Shutterstock

Listening, not testing, will improve children’s vocabulary

Every few months a story appears about the declining speech and language skills of children arriving in primary school. The epithet “the daily grunt” was invented by one newspaper to capture the lack of…
Haven’t you read Plato? Abee5

The 50 great books on education

I have often argued that I would not let any teacher into a school unless – as a minimum – they had read, carefully and well, the three great books on education: Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Émile and…
Here’s an eye opener: you can now read a novel on your lunch break. But how much will you really take in? ganessas/Flickr

Spritz and other speed reading apps: prose and cons

Most adults read about 200-250 words per minute (wpm), but Spritz, a new reading application that is attracting considerable social media attention, claims that most people can easily double or triple…
The problem mightn’t be with the equations, but the language in the questions. www.shutterstock.com.au

Are our kids failing in maths because they can’t read?

There has been a lot of hand-wringing about mathematics lately. According to national and international testing we are not getting any better at it and plenty of good reasons have been offered for why…
Making words make sense. Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Don’t let reading wars hold back more able children

Some children arrive at school already able to read. They have enjoyed books with their parents and understand the exciting route that reading takes them into the wonderful world of stories. They may well…
New tech open avenues for dyslexic readers. thequietlibrary

E-readers prove easy on the eye for dyslexics

Using an e-reader may help some dyslexic students understand what they read more effectively, researchers at Harvard University argue. In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, the authors found that…
Two new international reports on school performance should be put into perspective. Education image from www.shutterstock.com

Are we headed for an educational disaster? Hardly

The recent release of Australia’s performance in the TIMMS (2011) and PIRLS (2011) test results has sparked much media comment about what this means for the quality of Australian education. The focus so…
The latest results of international testing in maths, science and reading means Australia’s education outlook does not look good. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Latest tests show PM’s 2025 education goal is in doubt

Prime Minister Julia Gillard in September set an ambitious goal for Australian education: to be ranked as a top-five country in reading, mathematics and science by 2025. Clearly she is hoping to lift Australia…
The jury is still out over the environmental impacts of eReaders versus paper books. Julie Falk

Weighing the environmental costs: buy an eReader, or a shelf of books?

Bookshelves towering floor to ceiling filled with weighty tomes, or one book-sized device holding hundreds of “books” in electronic form: which one of these options for the voracious reader creates the…
Struggling to read? You may not be using your brain effectively. Flickr/Lab2112

Use your brain and teach children to read properly

Almost half of all Australians aged 15-74 years had literacy skills below the level required to participate effectively in our society, according to a 2008 study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics…
It’s fourth time lucky for Julian Barnes in the Booker Prize. EPA/Alessandro Della Bella

Booker victory for Julian Barnes but should the focus be on ‘readability’?

Julian Barnes today won the Man Booker Prize for his novel about a childhood friendship and the fragility of memory, The Sense of an Ending. This is the fourth time he’s been nominated, and Barnes declared…

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