Not being afraid to provide challenging texts in the classroom
I recently watched the fantastic tutorial delivered by Mary Myatt (find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIBOt3NIN6k) about literacy in the curriculum. I found it fascinating that she uses the example of the scholarship Marc Morris homework – where students have to read a paragraph and then answer questions on it. Interesting that it becomes effective when the teacher in question made some of the questions ‘low risk’ in the sense that he was encouraging students to give it a go and removed the pressure from wrong answers – it greatly encouraged uptake.
But the most important thing was that most students dealt with the text and the questions extremely well. This was with a year 7 class, and so clearly, Myatt argues students are capable of understanding and engaging with much more challenging texts then we usually provide them with. We should not be dumbing adult texts down, but assisting our students to level up and engage with them.