Reading is your right and the real opportunity for cognition

Margarit Sargsyan

We have written and discussed a lot about the importance and organization of reading but this is nonstop work and we have a lot to say as well. I want to summarize it from gathering to gathering. I suggest reading Hasmik Ghazaryan's article  A Bouquet of World Literature in Two Months, Mortimer Adler's How to read a book?, my articles Again about projects on reading and Why to read? Let's reread them, summarize and again rebound to the right of reading and its organization.

How to act so that we might not violate the reader's inalienable rights? How to make the learner read both voluntarily and with love escaping stereotypes? How to have the learner assimilate the subject syllabus or realize what to assimilate and how to do it on his/her own? These seemingly rhetorical questions become solvable and visible when we are working with an individualized educational model. What do we understand by saying an individualized educational model? By saying it we mean an educational process in the centre of which is the individual with his/her interests, requirements, success and failures.  I’d like to mention that by saying a learner we do not mean a group of “selected” children: our learner is a teenager with different interests and capabilities, faults and shortcomings, progress and success, whose educational progress and failures are concrete and visible (you may see the learners’ blogs). The group consists of individuals having quite different interests, skills, ambitions, literary taste and art perception. Having a definite choice of literature and following the basic conceptions of our educational program, our task is to organize the reading of different individuals simultaneously. Everything begins with overcoming the teacher’s ego and realizing that the learner should have his/her own opinion (an opinion which might be unacceptable by the teacher) and the chance to express it. Ego overcoming depends on the teacher’s not obliging his/her professional and personal opinion: this gives the learner a chance to be independent and make one’s own deductions.                     

Organization of reading: a short review

Let’s take the case when Tumanyan’s poems have been suggested for reading. Many learners say that they don’t like Tumanyan, others agree to read and another group of learners say that they have already read them. What can we do so as not to violate the learner’s right to read or not to read and not to have bored learners because they consider rereading the poems a waste of time, and at the same time to study Tumanyan’s poems which are considered to be great with the past and present literary critical criteria and qualified as pivotal in the sense of artistry of writing. The learners who don’t like Tumanyan, try to justify why they don’t like his works and how much they are out of date and the plot is uninteresting. It has been initially stated that the learner’s speech should be justified and reasoned when he/she is doing the literature project. Our key objective is not to have a learner who reads Anush plaintively or says that Tumanyan is our great poet. Our key objective is to have a learner who reads Tumanyan’s poems and has his/her own opinion, denies, complains, contradicts, but justifies, reasons and deduces. While doing all this learners acquire speech-language, logical-reasoning, evaluating, presenting and many other important skills. What shall we do if the learner reads the suggested literature, passively takes part in the discussions but doesn’t want to express his/her opinions or he/she hasn’t been inspired or says that doesn’t have any opinion, or doesn’t understand anything? The easiest way to tackle this problem is to put an appropriate mark for not having completed the task, but we shouldn’t seek for an easy way while organizing an individual’s education. It is suggested that the learner should choose to read another piece of literature which he is interested in at that time.        

We shouldn’t be afraid of the learner’s rejection or mistakes, youthful maximizing and denying character, incomplete and disputable presentation of an issue. It is an educational process which is nonstop and never completed. We should realize that the learner can have another idea, his/her speech can differ from ours, and he/she is free to express his/her own opinion, has the right to be listened to and appear with unique deductions. Our task is to direct them, to observe and study the material at different angles, teach them by constantly overcoming our egos, experiment by asserting and denying.           

About difficulties that come across when teaching reading

The main difficulty is the learners’ quantity in the group. It is difficult and sometimes even impossible to organize an individual educational activity for 25-27 learners at a time, to separate individual reading materials, always to suggest something new, to follow everyone’s working process and work development.     

Where are we going and why?

 We are developing the individual’s language, aesthetic and mental abilities, revealing the individual’s ability to understand texts and develop his/her logical thinking. We want to have a learner who will be able to speak about what he/she has read, to debate and move ahead.  





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