WEP 0082: Disrupting Thinking, An Interview with Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

Why 'How' We Read Matters

In this episode, Kelly interviews two of the most influential and most recognized names in the research and application of reading instruction, Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. The focus of this interview is an engaging conversation about their new book, Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Think Matters, and how to help students become better readers. This is a must-listen interview. 

About the Authors: Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst are the coauthors of the best-selling books Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading and Reading Nonfiction: Stances, Signposts, and Strategies, as well as Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice (with Linda Rief) and Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters. Beers, who also authored When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, began her teaching career at a middle school in the Houston area. Probst, who also authored Response and Analysis, began his career at the junior high and high school levels in the Baltimore area. Both have taught at the university level—Beers at the University of Houston and Probst at Georgia State University. Beers is a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Probst is a former member of the NCTE Commission on Reading. You can follow them on Twitter @kylenebeers and @bobprobst.

Book summary:

In their hit books Notice and Note and Reading Nonfiction, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst showed teachers how to help students become close readers. Now, in Disrupting Thinking they take teachers a step further and discuss an on-going problem: lack of engagement with reading. They explain that all too often, no matter the strategy shared with students, too many students remain disengaged and reluctant readers. The problem, they suggest, is that we have misrepresented to students why we read and how we ought to approach any text – fiction or nonfiction.

With their hallmark humor and their appreciated practicality, Beers and Probst present a vision of what reading and what education across all the grades could be. Hands-on-strategies make it applicable right away for the classroom teacher, and turn-and-talk discussion points make it a guidebook for school-wide conversations. In particular, they share new strategies and ideas for helping classroom teachers:

  • Create engagement and relevance
  • Encourage responsive and responsible reading
  • Deepen comprehension
  • Develop lifelong reading habits

“We think it’s time we finally do become a nation of readers, and we know it’s time students learn to tell fake news from real news. It’s time we help students understand why how they read is so important,” explain Beers and Probst. “Disrupting Thinking is, at its heart, an exploration of how we help students become the reader who does so much more than decode, recall, or choose the correct answer from a multiple-choice list. This book shows us how to help students become the critical thinkers our nation needs them to be.”

Mentioned in this interview:

Planbook is the best way to organize your lesson plans. Learn more at www.PlanBook.com <<< Free 30 Day Trial!

Kylene and Bob’s book: Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters <<<Order Now!

National Council of the Teachers of English <<< Join!

Interested in sponsoring an episode of The Wired Educator Podcast or advertising? <<< Learn More!

Join Kelly for a weekend retreat and learn how to publish, podcast, blog, speak, create course & more! <<< Learn More!

Bob and Kylene recommend the books: 


Telling Writing
 by Ken Macrorie <<<Order Now!

Literature as Exploration by Louise Rosenblatt <<<Order Now!

 

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