The Importance of Reading for Education

A child sitting at a desk reading a book, image used for Robert Peters blog on education

Reading is one of the most basic parts of day-to-day life, from tasks for school to reading street signs to shopping to browsing the internet. No matter what kind of job you have, some kind of reading will be necessary. Countries with higher literacy rates are generally better off and the people are happier. Studies have shown that those who commit crimes are more likely to have a lower literacy rate. People who read for pleasure achieve greater success in life. There are plenty of reasons why reading is vital to education, whether a formal education or a more general one that applies to life. Students should be encouraged to read because it’ll benefit them in endless ways.

Improves all kinds of comprehension

Overall, reading improves a child’s comprehension skills. The more someone reads, the better they get at picking up on context clues and interpreting specific language and actions. These comprehension skills extend into the real world as well, along with other topics. With great comprehension skills comes success in school and life because you’re able to pick up on small cues that help you interpret a situation or event.

Reading is a part of life

Like I mentioned earlier, basically any career path someone pursues involves a certain amount of reading, even if it’s just to read instructions or training materials. In addition to your career, it’s necessary to be able to read when filling out forms, like taxes, a lease, or a contract for any kind of service. Without strong reading skills, you can end up with financial issues or miss an important deadline or opportunity.

Teaches empathy

Reading creates more empathetic individuals, especially readers of fiction. When people read fiction, areas of their brain respond to what characters experience as though they’re experiencing the events themselves. As people become more empathetic, it’s easier for them to relate to other people and connect with them, which leads to more open-minded individuals. Empathy is a trait people could use more of, so for this reason alone, we should encourage children to be reading.

Helps communication

Reading teaches students to communicate better with other people from all backgrounds of life. With significant amounts of reading comes a larger vocabulary and greater understanding of how to connect with other people, because of the example set in novels. Readers learn how to connect with other people and convey their thoughts and emotions.

Expands imagination

People who read a lot are generally more creative and have a stronger imagination. When you read fiction, you have to use your mind to picture what the world and characters look like and to visualize the action. This use of imagination spills over into other areas of your life and makes you a more creative individual with a strong imagination.

Learn something new

Reading is the best way to learn something new. Simply by reading any kind of book, you’re exposing yourself to a new story or theory. In a novel, you may learn more about an event or way of life, even if it’s fictional. However, there are also plenty of nonfiction books for you to read that will teach you about various different subjects or fun facts.

Creative Ways to Encourage Students to Write

Notebook with blank page and two crumpled up pieces of paper on top of it with a pen, image used for Robert Peters blog on creative ways to motivate students to write

One of the most difficult challenges educators face is encouraging students to write. Whether it’s writing in class or at home, most students just do not enjoy the prospect of writing, especially if it’s for an assignment. However, writing is a vital skill for the real world and being able to communicate through writing is an incredibly valuable trait. Even if you can’t motivate students to write in class, but they do decide to write on topics unrelated to classwork, you’re helping their education because studies show that any form of writing can improve overall writing skill.

Use relevant writing prompts

Kids feel more motivated to write if they can relate to the prompt. If they are interested in the topic they’re writing about, they’ll enjoy the writing more. Make the topics about hobbies, local events, or their families and friends. When the topics are something they feel a connection to, your students will put more effort and detail into their writing and actually be interested in what they’re writing about. Depending how old the students are, you can have them debate issues they feel strongly about, such as a school dress code or local community issue.

Encourage them to share

For most students, they enjoy being able to share their work with one another, their teacher, or even their families. Encourage sharing because it’ll motivate them to write better and actually listen to the input they receive from others on their writing. However, if a student is really shy and reluctant to share, do not force them to read their writing out loud or show it to another student. Ask if you can see it and give them your feedback or even encourage them to write for themselves without sharing their work with others.

Teach them anyone can write

The problem most students face is that they do not believe they can actually be talented writers. They’ve either never been told their writing is good, believe it’s not something they can learn, or have never been given instruction on how to write. Give your students examples of great writers who met failure time and time again or teach them simple tricks to improve their writing.

Do not demand perfection

Writing can be daunting for students because they believe what they write should be flawless for it to be considered “good.” Teach your students it’s okay to make mistakes and they can always ask for advice or input on their writing. If their grammar or plot development isn’t perfect, gently offer them advice on how to improve, but also look for aspects to compliment so they don’t feel discouraged.

Celebrate their writing

Any student likes compliments and receiving positive attention. Find something in each student’s work to celebrate and show them that they’re making progress. It’s important to offer constructive feedback, but it’s also vital that you avoid giving a student the impression their writing is bad and cannot be improved.
Check out even more ways to inspire students in their writing!