WSJ Children’s Book Critic & Author, Meghan Cox Gurdon on Reading Aloud to Children in the Age of Distraction

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Meghan Cox Gurdon, the Wall Street Journal’s children’s book reviewer and author of The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction. Meghan shares what inspired her interest in becoming a children’s book critic, after having been a foreign correspondent. She discusses her ideas about the importance of spending time reading aloud, and the impact of the heavy use of technology on children’s literacy. She delves into the “Goldilocks effect,” a concept from cognitive science and developmental psychology mentioned in her book, and describes the brain research behind the value of reading aloud with young children. They also explore how reading aloud helps close the vocabulary and general-knowledge gap, especially among struggling students, as well as its importance for kids in the middle and high school years. Lastly, she shares her views on how to evaluate the quality of children’s books.

Stories of the Week: As the school reopening debate continues, a new poll of American parents found that 71 percent view sending their kids back to school as a large or moderate risk to their own health. How much of a role do schools play in spreading the virus? A German study of 1,500 students and 500 teachers yields surprising results.

Guest:

Meghan Cox Gurdon is a widely published essayist, book critic, and former foreign correspondent who has been the Wall Street Journal’s children’s book reviewer since 2005. She’s the author of The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction. Meghan graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College. She and her husband have five children and live in Maryland.

The next episode will air on July 24th, 2020 with Dr. Sephira Shuttlesworth, a retired teacher and charter school leader, and the widow of the late Birmingham, Alabama, civil rights leader, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Tweet of the Week:

Newslinks:

Poll: 7 in 10 parents say sending kids to school a risk

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/507192-7-in-10-parents-say-sending-kids-to-school-a-risk-poll

German study shows low coronavirus infection rate in schools

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-schools/german-study-shows-low-coronavirus-infection-rate-in-schools-idUSKCN24E1R1

 

Subscribe to The Learning Curve in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

There is 1 comment.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Now I want to go back and read Treasure Island to my 30+ son! I will make sure to read it to the grandkids if I get a chance. Both grandkids are very interested in reading but then the family does not have a tv. Mom does have to use Baby Einstein and other videos occasionally if she wants to get something/anything done. It’s amazing how, even without a TV or much screen time, they still are mesmerized by the screen. It is really hard to get kids and adults away from the screen. Thanks for the interview.

    • #1
    • July 17, 2020, at 9:14 AM PDT
    • 1 like