FUNDAMENTAL TEACHING PRINCIPLES

– The arrangement in school of a wide space developed for alphabetization that will resemble the environment in which the child lives.

– The elaboration of institutional projects that promote significant acts of reading and writing and that also meet children’s various interests and skills.

– Starting from the children’s previous knowledge for initiating the process of teaching and learning, also considering the widespread nature of their knowledge.

– Respecting the differences between students and being aware of their developmental processes. “A didactic plan that takes into account the children’s developmental processes doesn’t involve the principle of laissez-faire, and appreciating their thoughts doesn’t mean that there’s no need to plan, intervene and evaluate.”

– Scaffolding the process of teaching and learning, by focusing on the children who encounter the biggest problems, but without neglecting the rest.

– Making interventions that stimulate learning and interaction between children.

– Encouraging children’s interest towards the written text.

– Creating contextualized situations.

– Ensuring a permanent connection between reading and writing.

– Offering each child the opportunity to choose the materials and make recommendations about them, which stimulates the children’s development of autonomous criteria of selection.

All these situations must include collective systematization. However, didactic studies have revealed the impossibility to reproduce in the school environment the exact reading and writing conditions that students encounter outside school: students read and learn in order to attain certain aims, but at the same time they read to improve their reading and write to improve their writing. This is why the situations created at school do not always match those encountered in other social contexts; therefore, it is necessary to accept that in some cases, the situations staged in school may not happen outside of it, and their only purpose is to provide a way to communicate the children certain information (systematization activities).

To conclude, we quote Graciela Montes’s words: “The issue of reading must not be raised in connection with childhood, but rather with the society and its environment. We should determine the exact place of reading in the life of people today. (…) A society of readers is difficult to tame and control. Moreover, as dictatorships have always sensed, a critical reader is a dangerous thing. A book in the hands of such a reader (…) can make a significant change. Does this society want to be changed? Does it want to have dissatisfied, nitpicking, reflective critics? Does it really want people who think?  Does it want readers, or it only needs people that purchase books?…”

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