OP/ED: Why Students Don’t Read

OP/ED: Why most Students don’t read

It is a fundamental part of college education –  the idea that young people don’t just learn from lectures, but on their own, holed up in the library with books and, perhaps, a trusty yellow highlighter. As the semester ends and most face an end with finals, projects, assignments and work that is due, students have a struggle to do all this and maintain an outside life as well.

Students have difficulties to study and all this is because they lack the effort to read or don’t read well. One of the biggest complaints one hears in the hallways and faculty lounges of American colleges concerns literary dieting. The professorial mantra of the 21st century is: “They just don’t read.” All manner of villains emerge to explain students’ repulsion toward reading: internet surfing, video games, cell phone obsession, campus partying, over-caffeinating and lack of intellectual curiosity.

Students don’t read for many of the same reasons people in general don’t read; they lack time and interest. They are lazy, and often find information they need in alternative formats. Students also understand that reading for academic purposes is a very public activity, one that places them in the position of being judged by their peers for what they know, don’t know, and respond to the challenge of having to demonstrate their understanding in a very transparent way, and for some students this produces anxiety about the act of reading for academic work.

It has been brought up that most students who like what they reading or not don’t seem to read all that is suppose to be read, instead they tend to pay attention to keywords, take the important things they looking for out of the lot. Technology has also made students not reading especially easy in subjects like science and history. Instead of reading the text books to get answers to a question they goggle or use search engines to do their finding and research. Fewer students are found in the libraries these days; instead, you see all of them in the computer labs on social networking sites.

According is Patricia Gomez a sophomore and a nursing major at Mercy College, she believes as a nursing major the only way to pass her major is to engage herself in effective reading.

Even though I don’t read all the time, I tend to search on the topic online and even answers. I brush through the content until I find my answer and when I do, the reading ends there. I mean who really reads the whole content of anything anymore?

A sad statement, but one that some feel. The likelihood is there are too many distractions these days for students and answers are too easy to find online via search engines. The trick is reading has to become more of a habit. We need to read more for pleasure first. Then academic reading will soon follow.