A Gift of Wonderment and Concern
This Conversation About the 'Reading Mind' Is a Gift by Ezra Klein and Maryanne Wolf
New York Times, November 22, 2022
The title of this podcast is indeed the truth, and even that doesn't get at the sheer delight, awe, and urgency embedded in this conversation. Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, among other titles, is a treasury of insights big and small, and Klein is an adept interviewer, weaving his own journey as a reader and as a parent into the conversation in ways that bring in the listener. Wolf is the star of the show, though, and her sense of wonderment at our ability to read and her sense of concern about what is happening to that ability are essential themes for today's educators. Wolf delves into neuroscience and cognitive science, explaining just what is going on in adult minds when reading and what happens to children's minds as they learn to read, while also giving an overview of research into the effects of screens and digital text on readers' ability to focus and to absorb information from reading. For educators looking to better understand literacy and reading, this podcast is insightful and revealing; for educators looking for practical tips for navigating the complexities of literacy in the digital era, this podcast is informative and clarifying; and for educators looking to be inspired by the magic of reading and the written word, this podcast is essential.