Print 29 comment(s) - last by ShaolinSoccer.. on Aug 24 at 7:55 PM

One in six UK children are failing to read even one book per month

The internet has undoubtedly changed the way many people live their lives by offering information and convenience at rapid speeds, and new studies prove that these lifestyle changes are becoming more ingrained than ever -- especially in those who were born using it.

For instance, Beloit College, which is located in Wisconsin, released its annual Mindset List yesterday to remind teachers that college freshman born in the early 1990's see the world in a different way. The list, which states that the Web is now older than incoming freshman, offers 75 references as to how these college freshman think. For example, they think of the internet retailer when hearing the word "Amazon" instead of the South American river. Other examples, which are likely attributed to a generation gap rather than the internet, are that incoming freshman do not even know what the OJ Simpson murder trial and subsequent acquittal was about.

"Hmm, I know there was some scandal about him," said Alex Keesey, 18, a freshman at Beloit College. "I think it was robbery or murder, maybe both."

Now, a new survey further proves how the internet has changed the minds of those growing up with it. The new poll shows that UK youngsters born in the age of the internet are reading websites like Facebook and Twitter more than they're reading books.

The survey, which was conducted by the British charity National Literacy Trust, consisted of 18,141 children from ages eight to 17. It found that one in six children are failing to read even one book per month.

Instead, UK children are ditching literature for social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. According to the survey, the older end of the ages eight to 17 spectrum were significantly more likely to have not read a book in the past month than the younger children.

In response to these findings, Secretary for Education Michael Gove has proposed the challenge that all children at age 11 should read 50 books per year.

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I read...
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2011 1:54:11 PM , Rating: 2
To my 18-month old nightly before she goes to bed. We average a book a day (of course, these are children's books but still). I see absolutely no reason why every other parent should strive to do the same. Instilling a foundation in reading is critical at an early age to provide both vocabulary and encouragement to continue once they get a little older.

I also plan on blocking Facebook and Twitter via Tomato on my router as well. She'll have none of that if I can help it. I could care less if she's the odd one out.

RE: I read...
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/24/2011 4:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
Are you going to keep her locked up in the house until she's an adult? Lay a good foundation but try not to overdo it or she may end up hating you...

RE: I read...
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2011 5:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely not. Part of the reasoning behind blocking Facebook and Twitter is to encourage just that--to look beyond the confines of her own home and experience the world in person. No need to hide behind a computer to converse with friends when you can chat or hang out with them.

As a parent, I'm not her friend. I'm her Parent. It is up to I to determine what I feel would be beneficial to her in a positive way while growing up and what might not be. She might experience these mediums outside my home like I did with my friends NES (my parents would never let me have one), but in the end it helped me better socialize with those around me rather than remain inside surrounded by electronics.

RE: I read...
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/24/2011 7:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, I totally agree with you. But wait until the teenage years. Most of us are old enough to remember how we were (how stupid we were) in our teenage years and that is why we try our best to make sure our kids don't turn out the same way. But no matter what, they have to learn on their own and hopefully respect you and your wife enough to make the right decisions. And even if they make the wrong decisions, hopefully they will still turn out OK like we did lol...

You're a good dad. The world needs more people like you!

By Spikesoldier on 8/24/2011 2:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
im sure this stat would be applicable to US youths even ten years ago.

RE: lol
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/24/2011 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
I live in the US and I love reading...

RE: lol
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 5:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the post you are replying to. Maybe they meant the stat applied to themselves?

By Chaosforce on 8/24/2011 2:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
As being one of those Early 90's children and being in my JR year of college i can say for fact that i have read probably 20 books out of my own free will from HS to now.

Perhaps i dont get the big deal about this want to read so many books, i mean 50 books a year? That's nutz.

As long as they read something
By chris2618 on 8/24/2011 6:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
I have never got this. Why do people seem to think that child have to read fiction book to learn how to read. I am dyslexic and have always been into science and technology but was having to read book at age 10 about the dog and the cat and so on. Then when i was 12 i found howstuffworks . com and my reading age sky rocketed.

I do understand that fiction books provide more than just reading skills but other continuous prose provide this as well.

By inighthawki on 8/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By zinfamous on 8/24/2011 2:11:34 PM , Rating: 5
that is sad.

RE: Meh
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2011 2:32:23 PM , Rating: 3
Textbooks and manuals are nice, but it is creativity that builds a healthy imagination which inspires minds to learn how to think. Science fiction authors for decades have been the very inspiration for the rest of our scientific and technological society to create brilliant things.

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 2:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
There are more ways to be creative than just reading. I happen to do game development, focusing mostly on programming, but I have done contribution to the design process as well. I have no trouble coming up with creative story concepts and solutions of many problems.

I also don't believe there is a single shred of evidence that can cite science fiction as a driving force to technological advancement. Has fiction inspired some people? Certainly, as they can provide some good metaphors, but not sure why this has anything to do with reading/writing in particular.

I have friends that also do very little reading that are a hell of a lot smarter than other people I know that do a lot of reading. I don't think there is any casual link between reading and the ability for one to think or solve problems, creatively or otherwise.

RE: Meh
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2011 2:55:22 PM , Rating: 4
I don't think there is any casual link between reading and the ability for one to think or solve problems, creatively or otherwise.

This is why reading is so beneficial. If you read a lot, you'd have properly comprehended the following:

which inspires minds to learn how to think.

I said inspires. I didn't say that it does grant the ability to think deeper and solve problems. You see, humans have to first want to do something before they take effort. It is either by force or by inspiration. Both lead towards productivity of some sort. Inspiration though, it leads through willful co-operation with the process of thinking and doing.

By inspiring these minds, they want to be able to achieve, which in turn might lead them to pursue the sciences or mathematics (which there is a causal relationship with enhanced logical thinking) or perhaps the arts like music which also has a direct relationship with enhancing ones mathematical abilities.

I also don't believe there is a single shred of evidence that can cite science fiction as a driving force to technological advancement.

You don't see this because you don't read nor have ever. I can guarantee you that many of those in NASA and beyond have been inspired by the likes of Asimov, Heinlen, Clarke and more. I wouldn't say all, but I would say that more than a minute number of them received some form of inspiration from these fictional works.

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 3:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
You don't see this because you don't read nor have ever. I can guarantee you that many of those in NASA and beyond have been inspired by the likes of Asimov, Heinlen, Clarke and more. I wouldn't say all, but I would say that more than a minute number of them received some form of inspiration from these fictional works.

Firstly, I have not said I have NEVER read a book. I said I have never willingly chosen to do so for recreational purposes. Either way, that is irrelevant.

Secondly, and again I stress, fiction (or even science fiction) is not by any means restricted to reading. There are many forms of entertainment beyond reading that can inspire people. Images, movies/TV, music, or even just gazing into the night sky is inspiration for a lot of people who work at places like NASA. In fact, I would say that TV shows like star trek have far more of an impact than most science fiction books.

So again, I ask, why do you think that I need to READ to be able to be inspired by something, or to be creative?

RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 3:59:39 PM , Rating: 3
Who said there was a need to read for inspiration?

You're very one track, perhaps reading a book and understanding alternate perspectives would alleviate that.

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 4:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I was not specific enough as to what I was referring to, and that is my fault, I apologize. I was responding the the first sentence in the text I quoted where he implies that I don't see a relationship between science fiction and advancements in technology because I do not read, and my point was that it has nothing to do with reading at all.

I apologize since I did not make it clear. I was not trying to imply that a person must read to have inspiration. In fact quite the opposite, when I tried to state that there were many other forms of inspiration, naming other kinds of media as some.

RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 4:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
They are all *potential* points of inspiration. We never know when or how we will be inspired until it happens.

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 4:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely, and part of my point is that the alternative activities I do in the time I don't spend reading may be an equal opportunity for inspiration, and that making the choice to not read does not change this. There are just things that I find more fun and more motivating than reading, I just don't understand why other people have an issue with that.

RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't care if you like reading or not. Personally, I find it to be very enjoyable. To me, reading fiction or philosophy helps me grasp the complexities of human communication and expression. A great writer can express complex and abstract ideas in ways you may not have considered, which in turn, can give you the tools to do the same.

A teacher can teach you the rules of language, but it is up to the individual to temper his or her own style of communication or expression. A good way to do that is to expose yourself to as many writing styles as you can stand.

RE: Meh
By MrBlastman on 8/24/2011 5:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
So again, I ask, why do you think that I need to READ to be able to be inspired by something, or to be creative?

You don't need to read to be inspired, I never said that. I did say though that it is an excellent pathway for inspiration though and has been for many people.

You mention that you prefer images, television, music etc. All of these mediums are great avenues. They have only one flaw though, however minute you might view it. This avenue is something the others do not directly share with exception only to perhaps art (photographs, paintings and so on.)

This weakness is known as interpretation through imagination. When you look at a fine piece of art, you look at it how your own mind wants to see it. Yes, how you want to view it. Two people can look at a piece of art and view it differently--sometimes radically so. The artist can try, on the other hand, to guide your eye through the use of color, composition, form etc., to try and influence how you see the work but in the end, your brain has to ultimately interpret it.

When you hear music with lyrics (Classical would be more akin to art as well as some electronica such as Jarre or Schulze), or watch a movie or television show--there is a script and plot of course but in the end, what you see is the vision of the director, producer and editor. You may discuss and debate it but ultimately it is what is printed on that film or said through those lyrics. Lyrical music is not quite as limited as film, though either, but is not quite as free a medium as non-lyrical.

So, with all that said, we get back to reading fiction--not really non-fiction. Non-fiction is just that, factual information. Interpretation can be had through non-fiction by applying the material to other material you read which is itself factual material. Fictional material, on the other hand, allows the writer to paint on your mental canvas--your own mental canvas. They supply the pain and your mind supplies the brush and combined, they stroke upon it into your imagination an invisioning of what you are reading.

Thus, inspiration may be yearned from it. The author can potentially prompt your mind to drift off into a new avenue, even subconsciously or even emotionally which could drive you perpendicular to your typical thought, or likewise alternately parallel to your reasoning with a slightly different twist on it. The written stroke of this colloquial plume of insight can take you to vastly new plains if you allow the doors open wide enough.

Ulimately though, you don't have to read to be inspired. I just find it tragic that so many dismiss it without ever giving it a chance and truly miss an art that can be savoured in a unique way.

RE: Meh
By FITCamaro on 8/24/2011 2:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Pretty sad to have NEVER thought, "Wow that sounds like a cool story. Let me read it."

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 2:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
Because I feel like my time can be better spent on other things. Some people have other forms of entertainment. I happen to enjoy programming and solving algorithmic and logic puzzles in my time, because I feel it is a better use of my time and and can better enhance my ability to solve problems than reading a story.

RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 2:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
It might help your skill in grammar and basic English.

RE: Meh
By inighthawki on 8/24/2011 3:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's true, but I've found it's much easier to just pay attention during lectures in English class. The fact that I know grammatical structure and can spell better than many other people I know, who read a significant amount, would suggest that reading is not the only (nor the most significant) way to learn proper English/grammar/etc.

RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 8/24/2011 3:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that a non-argument? Obviously it isn't the only way to learn proper English. As far as your friends that read go... it would suggest nothing.

RE: Meh
By Motoman on 8/24/2011 2:26:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote: if it's something required of all people to do? mean, like, to learn stuff? Nah, no reason that schoolchildren should be required to learn anything. Let them do their own thing, man.

RE: Meh
By kattanna on 8/24/2011 4:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
i can sorta relate. i havent read a fictional book in decades as nowadays i enjoy reading more science types of books.

right now i am reading a book on the history of photosynthesis which details the chemical reactions and the arise of its use in the early earth.

to me.. that IS fun reading.

RE: Meh
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/24/2011 4:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't chosen to read a book for recreational purpose in my entire life

Man, reading a good book is one of the greatest pleasures of life! You are missing out! When I read, it's like watching a movie with incredible detail. I totally forget I am reading and I don't snap back to reality for awhile. There were times (when I was unemployed lol) where I went through a whole book within a week. Just can't put down a good book!

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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