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Sports Literature And Literacy Essay

2885 words - 12 pages

VandeStaay writes that a typical young adult reader, "reads" with an eye to responding, and in each case his response reflects his needs, thoughts, and feelings, as well as the context of his situation. The reader is what the reader does and is most fully alive when most fully engaged, therefore this researcher found that when student who was passionate about sports was presented with reading material that was sports related, he did not view it as an assignment or a chore, but actually relished the assigned reading as something besides school work. The researcher goes on to point out that in the senior high, where "Literature" supplants reading, class time is spent on more canonical texts ...view middle of the document...

(Dishnow 1994)One of the central elements in the system Hopkins proposes is a portfolio to be developed and maintained by individual students using any and all available media. In the experiment he studied students were organized into learning communities with 9 or 10 students in each group. A full range of students would be included in each group with regard to socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender, prior preparation, and age. The students in each group would establish the goals, limitations, and social dynamic, which would guide the development of portfolios. The course of study would be different for each group and some groups would be able to pick their own studies. A number of groups chose for reading assignments sports related material and sports literature. The end result was that those groups not only completed there assignment, but had a better understanding of what they had read and were better able to understand other issues regarding literature and comprehension besides the mere story they read. (Hopkins, 1994)Crowe says that sports novels are generally accepted to be particularly useful in reaching reluctant readers. However the overgeneralization of this idea has limited the acceptance of sports fiction as legitimate "literature." This attitude is reflected in many book reviews, when reviewers feel compelled to write something like, "This is more than just a sports book." Hence the research felt that educators were less likely to include the use of "sports literature" in the core curriculum that has lead in many cases to disenfranchising problem readers from material that might actually make them eager readers. (Crowe, 2001)Sports literature offers an effective means for combating negative attitudes toward reading according to Carter. The researcher believes that the techniques experimented with during her brief internship in a sports literature class are not restricted to this type of elective course; any teacher who is open to the use of problem-centered young adult fiction and timely sports writing can incorporate similar activities into the regular language arts curriculum. Although this approach requires extra effort on the part of the instructor, the rewards are great when students enter a literature classroom with the same sense of anticipation and excitement that one would expect them to exhibit at a sports event. Carter feels that it is imperative that we recognize the value of capitalizing on students' passionate interest in sports so that we may transform their curiosity into a deeper understanding of themselves and a stronger sense of their connection to society at large. (Carter, 1998)A program in New Hampshire called School PLUS (Personal Learning Using Sports), which uses sports to teach young people values and literacy, is studied by Heller. Founded by Jeffrey Beedy the program has found that literacy scores soar when students read, discuss, and write about sports literature and news articles. The...

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