October, 2

Our brains were never meant to read

Reading is not natural or instinctual for humans. We are hardwired to breathe, eat, think, and even talk. But we were never meant to read. Reading is man’s own invention - a skill that needs to be learned and cultivated, just like any other. “And with this invention we rearranged the very organization of our brain, which in turn expanded the ways we were able to think, which altered the intellectual evolution of our species.” (Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain)

When kids learn to read, a new circuit is created in the brain for this to occur. This circuit is made from existing cognitive and linguistic brain structures, but is not part of our genetic makeup. Reading is a rich, complex, and beautiful act - but it is not a natural one. No one is a born reader; everyone needs to learn. And the way each child’s reading will develop - the way this circuit will form - depends on many external factors, such as how reading is taught to that child, the child’s native language, and many other variables. (Maryanne Wolf, YouTube)

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