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March 2011 | Volume 68 | Number 6
What Students Need to Learn
Reading strategies are helpful guides—but we should keep students' attention on the literature.
Suppose someone tells you that the way to peel a fruit is to break the stem and pull away the skin. You find that this works well with bananas and you adjust it for oranges. Then you discover that it doesn't work with apples; you need a paring instrument, or perhaps you need not peel it at all. The skin is scrumptious, as it turns out. With melons, you hit a new obstacle. You can't peel them or bite into them; they must be cut open. But it's worth it— especially for cantaloupes! When you come to pomegranates, the original method slips your mind in your eagerness to try the fruit—look at those dark gems, those rivulets of red.
Eventually, you develop methods of getting into any fruit that depend on what you know and what you can intuit. The original strategy applied to a few fruits only—which is fine because it wasn't a grand theory, just a means to the fruit itself.
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Copyright © 2011 by ASCD
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