Why do all the students have to read the same books?

I was reading some article about teachers debating on whether they should keep To Kill a Mockingbird on the reading list.

Wait, are you telling me all the kids have to read the same book at the same time, in the same room? That is dumb af.

That’s like telling people they all need to eat the same food, listen to the same music, or watch the same movies, at the same time. There’s millions of books out there so if a kid doesn’t like one they can just pick something else. There is plenty out there to make reading and learning enjoyable rather than a chore.


We should go for Happy Hour some time. Same menu, but we can order different drinks and food!! :+1: :partying_face:

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You people baffle me. You spend all this money on beautiful, fancy books–and they’re the wrong fuckin’ books.


Are you telling me if a kid has to read one book to learn certain things at the same time as other students, they’re not able to read other books?!



They make them use the same math books too. Makes zero sense!


And more in particular, I suppose, why should kids be forced to read a book about an ethical man who treats everyone with respect and risks his life to stand for what’s right and stand against racism and bigotry?

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There may be an important lesson to be learned from that book but it can’t be the only one about that subject. Perhaps something more engaging driven by the choice of the student would be suitable.

When was the last time you did an integral?

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If someone doesn’t find To Kill a Mockingbird engaging then I don’t want to know them. Now The Old Man and the Sea, however, I’d be ok dropping from reading lists.


Jeez, I’d say around 2010 or so.

Obligatory Simpsons vid:


To Kill a Mockingbird was by far the best book we read in high school.

Now, something like Wuthering Heights…

My AP English teacher loved Wuthring Heights. He claimed that he had never seen an essay question on the AP test where you could use any book you chose to answer that couldn’t be answered using Wuthering Heights. It certainly wasn’t my favorite book - but I did use it on that question that year. (I got a passing 3, FWIW)

it’s almost like it’s not about reading the book per se, but rather having a common set of information about which those students could participate in an informed discussion. You know, in order to do stupid shit like develop their critical thinking skills, advance their knowledge of the way others around them view the world, and learn how to actually listen for once.


Yesterday. Someone mentioned that the popcorn function [f(x) = 0 for x irrational, 1/q if x is rational of form p/q with (p, q)=1] has Riemann integral 0, and I wanted to think about how to prove that from first principles rather than appeal to Lebesgue. It’s also a function that is continuous at all irrational numbers and discontinuous at all rational numbers.

Ok, the way to develop critical thinking is to have 20 students read the same book and then talk about it. Got it. And there is no better, more engaging way to do so and make them not hate reading of course.

They are of course not going to just skip the book and read the Cliffs notes because they like it so much.

I agree. I think a better alternative is to have each student pick a different book, and then not read either it or the cliff’s notes, and then make some stuff up about it on the tests and essays. (And then not have to discuss it because no one knows what anyone’s talking about.) Because it’s much easier to make up stuff about a book you’ve picked because the teacher doesn’t know it, than to make stuff up about To Kill A Mockingbird. Who needs literature?


Tests and essays on books are a waste of time imo.

Do a 5 paragraph essay in 30 minutes! Said no real life situation ever.

People read Harry Potter for fun, that’s a real life situation.

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