Raising a Reader: Teachings from the Four Directions
Keywords:Reading, Life Writing, Ecology, Holism
In this two-part life writing script, I narrate and interpret my experiences as a teacher and parent of a “reluctant reader” in the early phases of learning to read. In the first part, I address the myths and panics that often overtake parents of young reluctant readers, who may fear that their children are at risk of falling behind their peers in reading. In the second part, using the Four Directions teachings taught by Elder Bob Cardinal of the Enoch Nation in a graduate holistic curriculum studies course at the University of Alberta, I interpret the process of learning to read as a relational and careful act of ceremony, which literally overflows the dominant interpretation of reading as a technical, fragmented skill of decoding. The lovely, difficult work of learning to read, when treated as a gift between generations, opens up possibilities for “renewing a common world” (Arendt, 2006, p. 196).
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