Role of reading

Reading – the TINA factor

Learning to read lies outside the original repertoire of the human brain’s functions and requires a whole new circuit to be built afresh for every new reader.
Reading transforms the human brain, which transforms the mind, which, in turn, transforms the life of the reader. Literally and physiologically, there is no genetic blueprint for reading – the brain changes itself to suit the context of each individual reader-language, level, focus of content, medium (book, slate, TV), etc. A trained mind is a mind that can concentrate. Even Attention Deficit Disorder is not a disease; it is also a consequence of not reading.
‘Teach’ a child to read and keep that child reading and you will change everything, including concentration levels. And yes, we mean everything. Not reading cuts off the possibility of private thinking, or of a trained mind, or of a sense of self not dependent on external factors. The key is to take the reading skill to a level where the reading acts automatically to expand personal thought.
Indeed, a reading revolution is the first educational task before school leaders. It is a real TINA* factor! More so, because we have never been a country of readers; expecting reading to start at homes will be day dreaming. We must exploit the fact that reading is a habit and once cultivated through schools, homes will change forever.
*There Is No Alternative
(Please read the brilliant article by Nicholas Carr on Reading in ‘Stop what you are doing and read this’ – this discussion draws heavily from the article.)

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