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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

knowledge

Teaching Crisis

Back from ALA Annual — which was, everyone seemed to feel, wonderful. I hear that the YALSA board, while suggesting some changes, is basically in favor of an award for older nonfiction. That is great news. And while probably someone who dislikes nonfiction would not seek me out, I did hear a lot of interest in nonfiction. And then I came home.

Do you all read eSchoool News? I get it online and find it useful. In the current issue Lisa Suarez-Caraballo, who teaches math in middle school, is quoted as saying "there is a misconception out there that schools of education teach the content knowledge required of candidates. This is not the case." That was precisely my point in my first blog.

Folks, we can complain all we want about nonfiction being slighted by bookstore chains, by award committees, etc. But if we don’t get teachers, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN IN SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, MATH, ENGINEERING, better training in their content areas, we are fighting against the tide. If the teachers don’t know the information, and, worse, don’t know how to think like a real scientist, or historian, or mathematician, or engineer, they will never, ever, be able to appreciate good books, or even listen to librarians who are aware of those books.

Knowing involves thinking. Just as a good novel revolves around a compelling story (character, mood, setting, prose style), good nonfiction revolves around interesting throught (facts, details, conclusions, characters, settings). That is the flag I am going to wave in the blog until, well until I stop blogging.

SLJ informs me that the RSS feed for this and their other blogs is now working. I must admit to only vaguely understanding what that means, but I am happy to pass along the info for those who are better-informed than I am.