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New Book From Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst Helps Educators Discover Why How We Read Matters to Students

Disrupting Thinking Defines Reading as a “Changemaker” and Explains How to Help Students Become Responsive, Responsible, and Compassionate Readers

New York, NY – March 31, 2017 – Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, today announced the release of Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters, a new book by award-winning authors and acclaimed literacy educators Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. The authors show that a student’s perception of reading as simply a set of skills results in a less-engaged reader. In this professional resource for K–12 educators, they frame reading as transformational rather than simply a practice of decoding, recalling, and responding to questions. This timely book is being released as many people are becoming aware that today’s complex media landscape has made it more important than ever for young people to become not only skillful readers, but also responsive, responsible, and compassionate readers.

Disrupting Thinking is now available for order online at: www.scholastic.com/disruptingthinking.

Kylene Beers, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), says, “When we truly engage with what we are reading, we are fundamentally changed as human beings. We learn new facts and perspectives, discover when to question our own reactions, understand the responses of others, and much more. We are never the same after we deeply engage with text. Disrupting Thinking guides educators to encourage that transformation in their students.”

Disrupting Thinking presents a vision of what reading has the potential to be, emphasizing that it is a “changemaker,” and students’ responses to their reading are crucial to the reading process. It provides specific strategies educators can use to teach students how to be:

  • Responsive readers who are aware of their own emotions and reactions while reading
  • Responsible readers who think about what the text means for others, society, and themselves
  • Compassionate readers who, through reading, develop empathy that helps them understand others

Robert E. Probst, Professor Emeritus of English Education at Georgia State University, adds, “Reading is a transaction between the author, the text, and the reader and it is our responsibility as educators to take every opportunity to get students to respond to both fiction and nonfiction. This type of reading is what allows us to analyze all of the information that now rapidly comes to us, consider its message, purpose, and accuracy, learn about ourselves and others, and have an impact on the world.”

Key features of Disrupting Thinking include:

  • Turn-and-talk questions at the end of each chapter that educators can use to discuss key points with one another
  • Book, Head, Heart (BHH) framework developed by Beers and Probst, that alerts readers to pay attention to the text, their thoughts about it, what they feel, and how they might have changed by reading it
  • Specific strategies and anchor charts that educators can provide students to help them better analyze the text, including Notice and Note Signposts that direct readers to pay attention to specific aspects of the text, such as “contrasts and contradictions” between what one expects a character to do and the action actually taken by the character
  • Videos and downloadable resources providing tips and insights from Beers and Probst that will help teachers put new ideas from Disrupting Thinking into practice

“When it comes to literacy instruction, we are all very used to focusing on best practices, but Beers and Probst encourage us to instead think about the next practices we should be using in our classrooms,” says Dr. Lois Bridges, Vice President & Publisher, Scholastic Education. “Disrupting Thinking urges educators to innovate and change their approach to literacy as a means for helping all kids become the informed and well-rounded global citizens that they need to be.”

Stephanie Agresti
(212) 343-7819


You can also find this press release on the Scholastic site here

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