read via hern

from Natural Born Learners
by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko, Carlo Ricci


literacy is not the key to change – knowledge is and people can gain skills without literacy

the illiterate are not the people who cannot read but the people who cannot learn and relearn.

Bunker Roy


Seven Principles of Learning to Read Without Schooling

Insights from: “Children Teach Themselves to Read”
1. For non-schooled children there is no critical period or best age for learning to read.
2. Motivated children can go from apparent non-reading to fluent reading very quickly.3. Attempts to push reading can backfire.4. Children learn to read when reading becomes, to them, a means to some valued end or ends.5. Reading, like many other skills, is learned socially through shared participation.6. Some children become interested in writing before reading, and they learn to read as they learn to write.7. There is no predictable “course” through which children learn to read.
that’ll do it..
________________________Read the full post here (written in 2010):
read post by gray

by Peter Gray, Ph.D.

when i asked Amy (unschooling mom) how she responded to people asking,.. but how will they learn to read… she said: Peter Gray..


peter on natural reading/learning – from 2013 – why natural learning fails in classrooms:

The classroom is all about training.  Training is the process of getting reluctant organisms to do or learn what the trainer wants them to do or learn.  Under those conditions, methods that focus on the mechanical processes underlying reading—the conversion of sights to sounds—work better than methods that attempt to promote reading through meaning, which requires that students care about the meaning, which requires that they be able to follow their own interests, which is not possible in the classroom.

no train

let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city


just as we’ve experienced kids in the lab who thought they hated reading.. falling in love with the printed word…  with communication… with learning.

choice makes a huge difference.
debate is killing us.
let’s each choose (good bye cycle ness) how to spend our days.. right now. no?

you come too.


@MaryAnnReilly: Huge shift to see learners as producers, not only consumers of knowledge.

@rogre: @MaryAnnReilly Consumption is a form a production. Production is never fully original. Reading is writing is reading.…

@MaryAnnReilly: @rogre this is significant: Reading, like speech, is an ancient, preliterate craft.
@rogre: For ever and always: “Errors in transfer make a literature.” —@yayitsrob


Carol on 95% ness.


shared by Manish:

from almost 90 years ago…
“Our real concern is with the fallacy involved in the attachment of an absolute value to literacy, and the very dangerous consequences that are involved in the setting up of “literacy” as a standard by which to measure the cultures of unlettered peoples. Our blind faith in literacy not only obscures for us the significance of other skills, so that we care not under what subhuman conditions a man may have to learn his living, if only he can read, no matter what, in his hours of leisure; it is also one of the fundamental grounds of inter-racial prejudice and becomes a prime factor in the spiritual impoverishment of all the “backward” people whom we propose to “civilise.”
– Ananda Coomaraswamy, The Bugbear of Literacy

We have allowed that in industrial societies, where it is assumed that man is made for commerce and where men are cultured, if at all, in spite of rather than because of their environment, literacy is a necessary skill. .. The vast majority of the world’s population is still unindustrialized and unlettered, and there are peoples still “unspoiled” (in the interior of Borneo): but the average American who knows of no other way of living than his own, judges that “unlettered” means “uncultured,” as if this majority consisted only
of a depressed class in the context of his own environment. It is because of this, as well as for some meaner reasons, not unrelated to “imperial” interests, that when we propose not merely to exploit but also to educate “the lesser breeds without the [i.e. our] law” we
inflict upon them profound, and often lethal, injuries. We say “lethal” rather than “fatal” here because it is precisely a destruction of their memories that is involved.

on Plato:

When we set out to “educate” the South Sea Islanders it is generally in order to make them more useful to ourselves (this was admittedly the beginning of “English education” in India), or to “convert” them to our way of thinking; not having in view to introduce
them to Plato. But if we or they should happen upon Plato, it might startle both to find that their protest, “Cannot a man remember?” is also his. “For,” he says, “this invention [of letters] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not exercise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without teaching, and will therefore seem to know many things [Professor E. K. Rand’s “more and more of less and less”], when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise but only wiseacres.” He goes on to say that there is another kind of “word,” of higher origin and greater power than the written (or as we should say, the printed word) and maintains that the wise man, “when in earnest, will not write in ink” dead words that cannot teach the truth effectively, but will sow the seeds of wisdom in souls that are able to receive them and so “to pass them on forever.” There is nothing strange or peculiar in Plato’s point of view; it is one, for example, with which every cultured Indian unaffected by modern European influences would agree wholly.

– –

From the Indian point of view a man can only be said to know what he knows by heart; what he must go to a book to be reminded of, he merely knows of.

The purpose of our educational activities abroad is to assimilate our pupils to our ways of thinking and living. It is not easy for any foreign teacher to acknowledge Ruskin’s truth, that there is one way only to help others, and that that is, not to train them in our way of living (however bigoted our faith in it may be), but to find out what they have been trying to do, and were doing before we came, and if possible help them to do it better.

It irks us that these others, who are neither, as we are, industrialized nor, as we are, “democratic,” should nevertheless be contented; we feel bound to discontent them, and especially to discontent their women, who might learn from us to work in factories or to find careers.


from Carol Black‘s a thousand rivers..

scienc of what happens to people

A few times I tried, while reading her a story, to run my finger under the words as I read them, or to point out the sounds that certain letters make. Like most kids who don’t go to school, she was quick to recognize an adult with an agenda. “I don’t like it when you do that thing with your finger,” she said. So I stopped.

raised eyebrow ness

I began to notice that it was as though she was actually averse to focusing on the print on the page. She memorized whole books, whole poems, but she did it by sound, not sight. She played the piano but she didn’t like to look at the notes. When she drew, which she did constantly, she didn’t draw by looking at things and then copying what she saw. She drew from somewhere deep inside, her lines fluid, deft, intuitive.

imagine what we’re missing .. from the mouths of babes..

The fact that most literacy “researchers” and “experts,” not to mention school psychologists, don’t even realize that it is possible (learning to read w/o being taught) is something that should concern us all.


essentially basic



oh my math

what is essentially basic?

might we redefine nclb?

literacy.. language as control/enclosure



from Roger on reading.. july 2015

First, let’s ask why Wikipedia exists. In part, it exists because Encyclopedia Britannica couldn’t keep up. But also, it exists because we live a in a world where we don’t know whom to ask. I get asked nearly every day what certain words mean or what certain ideas are about. I am asked because the people I am interacting with know I might know and know that I am always happy to teach. But mostly I am asked because people know that I give quick short answers to their questions. When you have someone to ask, you ask. Reading is the alternative when there is no one to ask. 


..we have had a lot of practice at attempting to remember what we read. That practice is called school. We read. We study. We memorize. We take tests. And we are somehow all convinced that we have remembered what we read.
Every year I would ask my students on the first day of class at Yale and Northwestern if they could pass the tests they took last year, right now. No one ever thought they could. They studied.  They listened. They memorized. And  then they forgot. We don’t learn by reading nor do we learn by listening.
except.. learn by listening art.. I’m assuming our defn s of listening are diff – and also title – reading is no way to learn… to reading isn’t our optimal way to learn.
I said that I had never actually read an instruction manual  and that they haven’t actually been around for very long in human history. When a young boy wanted to learn to hunt lions he didn’t read the instruction manual, nor did he take a class. Throughout human history we have learned by watching someone older than ourselves, trying to copy that person, trying to be part of the team, and then trying things for yourself, and asking for help when we have failed. It is not that complicated. This is what learning has always looked like. And then, someone invented instruction manuals and we all forgot what we knew about learning. We replaced human mentors by Power Point lectures and asking by reading.
 When you have someone to ask, you ask. Reading is the alternative when there is no one to ask.
.. and plus – you can skim
“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” (Phaedrus 274c-275b)
so need a means to access people just in time, ie: output ness plus everyone doing something else ness… then only trying to access what you can’t not do..
kyra maya phillips (@thisiskyramaya)
8/12/15 6:42 AM
This is completely brilliant. Read. Now.…
what can be more miserable than the fate of a reading public of this kind, that feels always impelled to read the latest writings of extremely commonplace authors who write for money only, and therefore exist in numbers?
Haruki Murakami makes the argument that “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them; but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents. To desire that a man should retain everything he has ever read, is the same as wishing him to retain in his stomach all that he has ever eaten. He has been bodily nourished on what he has eaten, and mentally on what he has read, and through them become what he is.
Every one has aims, but very few have anything approaching a system of thought.
do not accompany it on the epicycles..

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.. – James Baldwin


via sisyphus rt

Toni Twiss (@tonitones) tweeted at 4:55 AM – 14 Aug 2018 :
@OrindaGarden @Sisyphus38 My 6yo has just finished listening to all of the Harry Potter series. Hours upon hours upon hours. Her comprehension of it blows my mind. The change in her vocabulary and the complexity of her imaginative play is incredible. Different outcome/experience from “reading”. (

[whole thread via link and/or on his page]
Esko Kilpi (@EskoKilpi) tweeted at 5:02 AM – 10 Sep 2018 :
1/ Notes from the workshop on learning and work: To hear, you have to come together. To read, encourages you to draw apart. (
Carolyn Buckner Fulk  (@cbfulk) tweeted at 3:18 PM – 16 Sep 2018 :
Today my HS son said “how do you expect me to enjoy any book assigned at school? We have to tear it apart until it means nothing.” (
If you don’t like a book, you don’t have to finish it. “It gets better later on” is a symptom of poor craft & a terrible reason to be miserable for +100 pages
Original Tweet:
Skoll Foundation (@SkollFoundation) tweeted at 5:10 AM – 4 May 2019 :
1 in 10 people in the world today can’t read. @Pratham_India’s innovative approach is helping kids in developing countries learn to read in as little as 50 days. (