In a thoroughly depressing report put out by the National Endowment for the Arts, we find out that reading, especially among young adults, is becoming less and less common.
- The decline was especially great among the youngest people surveyed, ages 18 to 24. Only 43 percent had read any literature in 2002, down from 53 percent in 1992.
I was not surprised by this, nor by what is discussed as the main culprit: electronic media in all of its forms including television (nothing new there) and internet usage. Yep, I’ve seen it first hand. Kids spending hours and hours playing computer games or watching downloaded movies, sometimes while instant messaging their friends.
It’s too early to tell how this will impact society as a whole but it’s my belief that this phenomenon is a major factor in school ‘performance’ (however you’d like to define that term.) If we can figure out a way to make reading cool again (and just maybe the Harry Potter generation will change this) it would go a long way toward improving how kids learn: Much more so than any battery of standardized tests.
The report can be downloaded in PDF format here.
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)Powered by Sidelines