Sports Literature and Literacy.

Essay by GRabneyCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

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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 that it has been decided that students should "know, and that the change from reading to literature is an insidious one because it is much more a simple shift in what is read.

Whereas our junior-high novels confirm the choices our students make for themselves, senior-high selections paint student choices as insufficient. Given the chance to choose sports literature, not merely sports stories, but novels with a sports theme, the student in eager as opposed to being assigned "classics" that hold no interest. (VandeStaay, 1994)

In her report Dishnow noted a direct coloration between the number of books read and the options of reading material allowed for extra credit. When assigned reading list was limited to select areas the number of students opting to do extra credit was limited, but as more subjects were introduced, especially sports and biographies, the numbers greatly rose. The researcher also found that sports books were not the exclusive choice of boys but that girls were equally as stimulated to read them. Her conclusion was that the introduction of sports literature as a option for reading...