“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 29. Research Agenda on reading for the next 15 years.
Never judge a book by its cover.
There are many treasures hidden under covers which are not probably the most beautiful ones. Our reading experience shouldn´t be determined by what we see outside the book but from the inside out. Today´s opportunity to write to you is about the enlightenment of reading for all. As reading researchers from many disciplines, we must pursue a research-organized agenda during the next 15 years in terms of literacy. There are thousands of books and academic papers about reading. But still, little about why is it that people do not want to read anymore with the advent of disruptive technologies since the Internet.
Today I won´t use any source of reference from other researchers. If one or some of the next bullets has been already named or are currently under examination, it is fantastic. If not, I truly recommend educators, the Ph.D. from multidisciplinary teams to squad up, as a force of good for humanity, and continue doing investigations about any of the ramifications that come out from our research literacy agenda list. We have listed 4 big wild research pillars below. No slides today.
Why 15 years? Why not 30 years? The period span of our research goals and observations today may change in 15 years or so. It is what the iPhone has done to the planet. From 2008 to 2022, we can count around 15 years, and I accurately affirm (through research observation) that in our current technological entrapment, 15 years is what it takes for a commercial massive product to may wind up our societies globally. Fifteen years are enough to drive us mad, in such a way that we are planning to insert everything we do in one black box called Smartphone. A smartphone that is ignited and enflamed by the Internet. Coincidentally, fifteen years are the core lifespan between one generation to another one. In fifteen years, our fragile minds can go off or can be fueled for better or for worst. In fifteen years, without any type of regulation from governments, the disruptive technologies under the combo of the NAIQIs (Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence-including Automation and robotics, Quantum supremacy, and the Internet). can dramatically change society’s rules of thumb. Fifteen years can destroy or soothe one generation ahead. That is the current power of disruptive technologies nowadays. Sadly, our lack of ordinance and our economic ambition to push for the virtual ideology of life, have devastated the best practices of our humanity, wiping out our sense of community, damaging relationships between family members, and barring our brain capabilities of discernment.
There is hope.
At the beginning of this saga, we wrote that this saga was going to be the most positive one I have written since we started Eleonora Escalante’s Strategy. From the trash, we can recover amazing treasures. From the post-pandemic chaos, we can select the reasonably good and dismiss the harmful effects of our technological vices. By causing awareness about our reading status on earth (which has been our goal), we can rise from the ashes again. We only need fifteen years to refurbish and restore our path at the philosophical level (doing research and putting all the intellectuals to work), and add another 30 years for testing and learning from mistakes when implementing our solutions to lack of literacy. Everything with the purpose of finally being sure how to implement the mending. Nevertheless, as we patch our generation Z, let´s pray that God will give enough years of life to Millennials and Generation X for helping the youngest as a bridge, meanwhile, their brains can be fixed.
The prominent objectives of the research about reading and literacy are framed in 4 big wild goals. As a corporate strategist, each of these big wild goals has further ramifications that are endless, according to the view of the researcher and his/her investigation scope. The role of universities in pulling funds for researchers is crucial to keep the research design, methods, and procedures at the top level, under international control quality standards. Otherwise, we might end up with fragmented studies that we won´t be able to compare for further inferences and decision-making.
Research Agenda on reading for the next 15 years.
- Understanding the readers. In every country. What has happened and is happening with readers? What has been the historical performance of reading since the advent of the Internet in our societies? Only the most developed economies have some data that is publicly available. The rest of the countries, particularly the poorest ones from Asia, Africa, and Latin-American, are required to map their reading capabilities per population segment and with different variables (not only the demographic ones such as level of education, age, economic income, etc). Our reports about reading (literacy), mathematics, and problem-solving only reflect a research survey at the quantitative level and their findings are about developed economies. The study of Adult Skills, from the OECD Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), provides that picture. The UNESCO/UIL GRALE global reports on adult learning and education are another paintbrush for us. Good but still not enough. Anyhow, each country from the rich to the poorest is required to invest and find out where they are positioned in relation to literacy, not just as a big picture, but per city and community.
Our study about the readers must contemplate the answers to the question: Why the readers don´t read? per country. Each culture is different. For the purpose of this saga, I have extrapolated the data available about developed nations. But each country has its own particularities. Once we have a clear mapping of the literacy situation per country, we must answer ourselves at the conceptual and empirical levels, the causes of that mapping. These causes will be multidimensional and by country. With these causes, we would be able to proceed with our evaluations and future findings. We are convinced that many researchers will be surprised to find out that many of the reasons for not reading have nothing to do with the books, but with the mix of external and internal factors to the child’s upbringing: the families and the lack of stimulation for reading from 0 to 6 years of age, the substitution of reading with electronic devices, lack of role models at home, lack of emotional peace at home during infancy, toddlerhood and pre-kindergarten ages, educational missteps at pre-K-12 formation, or because of violence in the communities, etc.
- Comprehending the foundations for reading success in each community.
The complex task of reading requires that multiple brain areas work together through networks of neurons (neuroplasticity). What is interfering in each kid that prevents them from attaining successful reading? What is causing kids to don´t develop early phonemic awareness? What is causing the parents to not act as role models to read for personal pleasure at home? What is causing children don´t see reading as fun at home before attending kindergarten and K-12? What is impeding most children to don´t see reading as a joyful experience? For 80% of kids all over the world, learning to read is so frustrating that they don´t care about books even before starting to attend school. So, when learning to read is hard, it is conceivable that kids give up on reading. A whole digital generation born after 2000 has switched to Smartphones, video games, TV, or anything that is seen or played from a colorful flashy screen. Their reading competencies are basic, and no growth in literacy happens after 8th grade. Smartphones and screens have stopped us from reading books. As researchers from all our disciplines known on earth, if reading is being obstructed, we are demanded to understand the grounds that restrict or inhibit reading, and the bases which move forward for reading delight. The result of this pillar of research will provide us with the nature, scale, time path, and solutions for literacy upheaval in each country.
- Acting in the present for mending our wrongdoings with reading. Restoring reading implies stopping or containing what is hurting kids and our civilization’s development when we land on literacy issues. No academic paper or book or research report is valuable if it will be hidden inside a cage. Research results should be used or lost. That is why the filters of good research are in the hands of universities and academic think tanks of good reputations (private or public entities with high-level standards). In addition, the quality control of the methodologies utilized for research should be extensive in time. Decision-making based on short-term observations is null. Decision-making that will imply government policies towards education and literacy must be founded in serious research reports that go beyond literacy reviews or surveys of one-time or three months or 1-year observation. It must include at least 15 years, and an extensive systematic review of concepts, theories, and methods from the past to our present. Only then, the evidence is beneficial and worthwhile, and we can make sense of it to resolve. As a result, probably many commercial products and services will need to be taken from the markets. And societies will be mandated to eliminate some commercial current tech initiatives that are hurting our brain development. This includes technologies that are altering our future for the worst. Every single cause that has taken us to hurt our brain development and well-being, particularly, where we are in terms of literacy, should be removed, modified, regulated, or barred from society. Every single literacy wound must be mended. Researchers must offer solutions for mending our literacy mutilation, in such a way that the United Nations, Governments, and the private sector can act together to design a road map of fixes and the future performance of reading, with its respective measurements in the process. The dynamics of acting in the present should be adaptable enough but plentiful and unbending towards setting up a happy society regarding literacy improvement for the next century. Each community will implement literacy strategic planning that deserves cross-sharing participation and a wide-ranging open discussion for alternative views in the implementation of literacy renewal. Civil society must feel acquainted with the progress of these research discoveries too. Moms and Dads are demanded to watch out so they can apply the best practices as soon as possible, once the solutions are confirmed to be correct.
- Deploying strategic resources and performance. Our research should include additional views about how to design and offer the critical tools required for literacy restoration. Different frameworks and models for building the human capital talent, the tangible assets, the intangibles that don´t appear to be needed, the local literacy ecosystems, and educational supplies must be designed not only for parents and tutors but also for educators. School facilities, trained staff, sports amenities, playgrounds, classrooms, discovery trips to nature, art activities, storytelling, theater, reading methods, etc.; play a vital role in reading, at each stage of age for the individual. That is why learning remotely using the internet from home doesn´t work well for establishing literacy. Don´t expect to fix our lack of reading with technological gadgets that hurt our brains’ reading basic capabilities. It is like giving a knife to someone who has an injury and commanding that person to make the injury deeper. Or in another phrase, it is like providing more cocaine to a drug addict and expecting him to recover from his addiction. Assignation of proper strategic resources and different measuring performance models are critical to do something well. Doing it right will require at least 3 generations to start with. The first 15 years for research, and probably, if doing it smartly, we will have to extend it to the perpetuity of years of back-and-forth time path to fix 5,000 years of our historic literacy troubles.
These 4 pillars of research open a discussion for multiple topics, subjects, interrelated studies, and investigation motives. Be sure, that we will be busy for the next 15 years. Funding for these activities is enormously required. If our industries don´t slow down the wrong implementation of the digital economy, we will persist in the chaos of reading capabilities. We believe that the private sector (in all industries) should begin slowing down with the utilization of screen technologies in their transactional aspects of buying and selling, procurement, and delivery. It is imperative to slow down the amazon model of living with the utilization of the global supply chains, plus the communication irrational uncontrol of the social media platforms. For the sake of helping the youngest in their quest for raising literacy. For the first time in history, we must wait for educational researchers to give their independent views, and verdicts with approval or condemnation of our tech inventions before being released into the markets. It is time to start to do things correctly.
I will close this article with the following verse: “We are allowed to do all things, but not all things are good for us to do. We are allowed to do all things but not all things help others grow stronger”. 1st Corinthians 10:23
Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up”1st Corinthians 10: 23
Announcement: We will close our saga “Loving to read as a strategist” next Friday. We have finished our efforts for the Fall-Winter of 2022. We are vastly grateful for your strength and perseverance to follow us. We are enormously thankful for your endurance and serenity to read us. We are colossally appreciative of your attention to these publications.
Next year we will continue writing in parallel to the Ocean Race 2023. As of January 15th, 2023. We will take our literature production boat and stick next to the team participants of this race. Expect more information about what, where, who, how, why, and when are we going to sail our authorship journey with all the teams participating in the Ocean Race 2023. We will segment 2 sagas during the edition of the Ocean Race 2023. We will elevate our reading too. This a new challenge from us, made with love for you.
Strategic Music Section.
Music Reading chill-outs
Today´s musical reading counsel is about the path of reading. Again, the foundations of reading are established between 0 to 6 years. Previously to kindergarten. Each age has its own challenges, targets, and significance of accomplishment for those goals. Psychologist J.Johnston has written: “Little kids are born students, and their biggest teachers are Mom and Dad. Babies are amazingly skilled language learners, and they see Mom and Dad as gifted speech teachers”. Each reading skill is achieved step by step. Scaling, like climbing a stair or a mountain. And this patient path is a discovery with several toolkits: games, rhymes, songs, exercises, unearthing journeys, etc. It is a delicate journey. You can´t rush it, otherwise, you can tear down the experience of reading. In addition, it is Mom and Dad’s mandate to protect the emotional well-being of kids the most. The most essential phases of our kids´ are infancy, toddlerhood, and preschool. It is during this time that mothers must protect their babies with all they can.
Don´t let any adult hurt them (by touching or abusing them inappropriately). Don´t let anyone misuse or deviate your babies from their own physical gender identity (the one established during the pregnancy of the mother). By emphasizing their kids’ born own natural gender, the one that physically was given at birth, parents are the reassurance of their kids’ own identity and their natural gender: girls should be reinforced as girls; boys must be reinforced as boys. Kids are precious and must be emotionally shielded by adults, during the pre-reading years (from 0 to 6 years old).
If we can´t protect our kids from other adults’ potential misusage at that age, don´t expect your kid to be ready for reading with competence. They will grow up with insecurities, anxieties, helplessness to change things, and a lack of self-worth in other areas of their lives. Including reading.
Our music for reading today is another holiday Christmas collection. It is from the London Symphony Orchestra Christmas 2023. From the Youtube channel Merry Christmas Songs. Enjoy!
See you next Friday 23rd of December with the last episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: Summary and Conclusions”.
A new saga is coming as of January 15th, 2023. We will sail with the Ocean Race 2023. Expect wonderful content. Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.
Sources of reference are utilized today.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. All are used as Illustrative and non-commercial images. Utilized only informatively for the public good. Nevertheless, most of this blog’s pictures, images, or videos are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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