Opinion Piece in the November 26, 2017, NY Times by Daniel T. Willingham

willinghamdThe following link is to an opinion piece in the November 26, 2017, NY Times by Daniel T. Willingham. The piece is an excellent illustration of the fact that reading comprehension is dependent on more than reading skills. It is also dependent on the information and experience that the reader brings to what they are reading. Comprehension is not an isolated skill independent of the reader’s familiarity with a subject. The factual gap that some readers will have in reading his opinion-piece is that, due to trying to teach all children to read at an earlier age, more classroom time is now devoted to drilling the basics of reading. The opportunity cost of this change is that students receive less experience with information in the sciences, social studies, decision-making, and character development in the classroom than in the past. Paradoxically, this, in turn, becomes an interference with comprehension as subject matter in reading becomes more complex. Students from less-advantaged backgrounds who tend to have less exposure to this information at home, are particularly at risk. Some of this information was presented in his previous book:

Why Students Don’t Like School  



The Hidden Link Between Vision and Learning

The Effects of the Fear of Failure in Education

The Parents We Mean to Be How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development

Reading in the Elementary School

A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool