BY TAMARAH WALLACE
Prehistory. It was a time when caves housed bats as well as people, wearing real fur was far from controversial and humans had not yet developed a coveted literary ability that would progress them into what we know as “history.”
It is known that historians deemed the period defined by early human’s inability to record data as prehistory. They did this in order to differentiate from history, which began once information was able to be written. It was this skill, the capacity to accurately document occurrences and then disseminate that information, that allowed centuries of people to gain knowledge from those who had cultivated it before them and thus, live a more enlightened life.
But presently, an unlikely issue has disrupted the sanctity of the above practice as active reading, one of the earliest forms of acquiring knowledge, has become a nuisance to many and therefore, has dropped in popularity and proficiency according to the LA Times.
And in a world where literacy is the key to progressing in other subjects such as math and science and where it is required in many instances throughout daily life, not being proficient in it is simply unacceptable.
American adults are critically underperforming in the literary department compared to a host of other developed countries such as Japan, several Scandinavian countries, Australia and Korea and it is obvious that those who leave schooling without the basics are never learning what they actually need to know through their later occupations and life experiences.
Reading proficiency also continues to decline, not only amongst adults but most other age groups as well as there was a significant decrease in the average reading scores of eighth-graders in the US between 2013 and 2015 in a study conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
So therefore, it is imperative that measures are taken in order forge a more competent reader from an early age, beginning with the goal of increasing reading abilities through a reformation of the United States’ education system.
In creating a desire to read by matching children with novels based on their personality as well as by constructing assignments that inspire relatable interest in the literature, I believe that significant gains can be made.
It is also important to specifically tailor literature to the student as well as proceed at the pace of that individual student as some will simply not be interested or apt in the subject. In this way, the school system can make sure that students are actually becoming literate and not slipping by.
The ability to read and grasp the content is a capability that is essential to function in the modern world. Furthermore, it is one that breeds more cultured, competent society.
Photo courtesy of Pexels