Preparing the generous reader

‘Generous readers’ look for meaning in text, and it is this understanding that lies at the heart of literacy. But how can we prepare students to be ‘generous readers’, asks Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar

IN HIS REMARKABLE history of reading, Alberto Manguel notes: “All writing depends upon the generosity of the reader.” This quote captures the essence of reading; text has but a silent existence until the reader brings it to life. But what determines the generosity of the reader? How can teachers promote “generous” readers? Why are some readers “stingy”?

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May 2009