Monday, September 03, 2012

Roger's Pedagogical Corner

During my daily review of popular "Mommyblogs," I came across series of queries:

Filling out the lists of “summer reading” their teachers required as the school year began, my children and I ran across a quandary of our own. For school reading purposes, do books listened to, as audio books, count as books read?
Whether listening to an audio book counts as reading it has long been debated on blogs and at book clubs. I’m torn; I enjoy absorbing my books one way (words on a page, please), but as far as the content goes, I don’t see any difference in listening to it, although I admit to perceiving the reader/listener differently depending on the circumstance and the choice. (Maybe I shouldn’t, but there it is.)
But here we’re talking about something slightly different: for a student, is there a difference between reading and listening to a book? Should a listened-to book go on a “books enjoyed over the summer” list? If a student is required to read “The Hobbit” over the summer, does a student who listens to all 11 hours and 6 minutes of it, unabridged, fulfill the requirement?
We’ve resolved the question for back-to-school purposes (we went for disclosure), but it’s sure to come up again. Is it a different question for different ages? What about for a book report — can a student listen to the book rather than read? What about the student who wants to do both?
Which raises an interesting question. (I'll be the judge of that.)

When did schools start issuing summer reading lists? I never had one in grade school or high school, either as a suggested or mandatory list. Is this something fairly new, or did I just go to crappy schools? (Or both.)  Is this limited to schools populated by the children of the kind of overachieving wankers who live to get their brats into  prestigious colleges?  Is it just a way for schools to get parents to buy the books?

As for audiobooks, back in the day, the audiobooks would have been on cassette, rather than mp3 or CD, so it probably would have been more expensive to go the audio route.