Of the secondary schools I’ve visited over the past few months, many have been talking about the (re)introduction of regular DEAR (drop everything and read) sessions with their students as part of developing their approaches to encouraging reading for pleasure. It’s certainly nothing new (it’s gone under a range of different acronyms over the years – ERIC, everyone reading in class, and DIRT, dedicated independent reading time being just two of the others) but I believe it could be improved easily with one tweak: recommendation.
Embedding recommendation as a regular practice broadens everyone’s horizons, improves the flow of information about the range of books available, and sets the expectation that children and adults will read broadly and, as importantly, discuss what they read. It’s a simple change to make but one which will really pay back for the work you put in if you are serious about developing a culture of recommendation in your school.
Currently reading: A. S. Byatt’s A Whistling Woman