Challenge students with good books instead of easy reading

March 16, 2016

Most US colleges today assign “recent, easy books” and avoid more challenging texts for their students, but Ashley Thorne suggests that it is better to challenge students with more difficult texts. In order to do this, Thorne makes a number of recommendations, including treating students as adult-level readers when selecting material, reducing the size of reading selection committees to a few deeply read individuals, and cultivating a spirit of high culture and intellectual adventure to show students why good books are worth reading. Finally, Thorne encourages colleges to only accept students who are able to read a challenging book for pleasure, and concludes by encouraging instructors to “plan for the students you wish you had.” Chronicle of Higher Education