Steinkuelher, C. (2010). Digital literacies: Video games and digital literacies. Journal of
Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(1), 61-63.
In this article, Constance Steinkuehler discusses a student whom she followed for two years in a research study that observed the disconnect between boys who participated in video games and their school experiences. The student she followed did not do well in school. He tested at a 5th-grade reading level and did not read any of his school-assigned books. When he was outside of school he read and even wrote books about the games he played and the worlds they depict. When given the opportunity to choose a text, he chose the 12th grade leveled text and performed well when tested.
While this is a single story about one kid, I think it is an impactful story. It shows the benefit of providing students the autonomy to explore their own interests and to allow them to make some of their own literary choices. This idea can be expanded into other areas, but this article only focuses on the comparison of home reading preferences and abilities to those they are demonstrating at school.
I intend to use this as a professional development article for my teachers. The article itself can be used to introduce teachers to the idea and the need of having students become self-driven learners. This article does not make any suggestions as to how this could be done, but further research and readings can offer insight into the how. The focus of this piece is the why behind the idea of providing student choice.