Redefining Literacy

In finding the solution to engaging boys in reading, we must also expand our definition of literacy. Literacy encompasses the ability for someone to navigate through any text and make sense of it. Books are only one type of text, and it is unfortunate that schools don't offer more of a variety of texts for students to interact with. While books can help many children to discover reading, other forms of texts include magazines, instruction manuals, Internet sites, information books, comic books, etc.. Boys enjoy reading about facts and will be more motivated to read if their learning environment includes a variety of reading options.

Teachers, schools and governments must be acutely aware that current standardized literacy assessments do not motivate boys to perform at their best. Changing those assessments to reflect what boys like to read, would affect the results in a more positive manner. Boys might then be more comfortable with sharing and writing their ideas, thereby improving their self-image when it comes to reading. Attitude improvement is vital to attaining strong literacy skills. Educators need to adjust their views of literacy achievement and expand their understanding of literacy to encompass different forms of media (TV, Internet, radio, magazines) and texts to better prepare their students.