The Danish Union of Teachers (DLF) has launched a great reading project in January 2011: “Reading for life”
For some years the DLF has tried to create joint national support to improve the students’ reading competencies. However, the DLF has not succeeded in convincing the Danish government to engage in this cooperation. As a consequence, the DLF launched the project “Reading for life”, hoping that the project will be a catalyst for a national effort regarding reading competencies.
The project’s objectives are
- to contribute to reducing the number of students who leave the basic school with poor reading competencies
- to create involvement and knowledge about reading with teachers in all subjects and thus work improving the reading efforts in the entire schooling and in all subjects
- to show the politicians a way to make school policy and school development, without several central legal initiatives.
The idea of ”subject-related reading and writing”, primarily in lower secondary school, is essential for the reading project. In short terms, subject-related reading considers work with reading and writing as not only the Danish teachers’ task – but as a task for all subject teachers. E.g. the subject teachers have to work with reading and understanding in relation to subject texts.
DLF has involved the local DLF branches and school representatives, and cooperate with school leaders and reading experts, so that the school’s initiatives are built on a qualified basis, and support the schools in there efforts to carry out the objectives. This is done through several specific initiatives, for instance special editions of the members journal “Folkeskolen” about reading and writing, “borrow an expert” (an offer to the schools to receive free introduction and consultancy hours in connection with projects about subject-related reading), support to pilot projects at five schools (projects of two years that offer 10 teaching lessons and 16 consultancy hours), regional meetings and information materials to the parents.
There has been an overwhelming interest for the project from the local authorities as well as schools, and a large number of applications for the ”pilot projects” and “borrow and expert” have been met.