In celebration of Newspaper in Education Week, teachers across Utah are encouraged to teach all their classes today out of the Deseret News on the designated "No Books Day," an annual event. Under the program, the Deseret News supplies teachers with the day's curriculum for free.
Since the Deseret News began the program in 1983, it has steadily become more popular among teachers and students. This year, the State Office of Education officially approved the use of the newspaper in the classroom as a textbook.A study conducted in 1989 with eighth- through twelfth-graders over a six-month period in Florida suggested that when the newspaper was used, students arrived early to class to read, teachers had less disruptive behavior in class and test scores reported marked improvement in reading comprehension and writing.
Another study conducted over a three-year period by the University of Stockholm in Sweden found that Swedish students taught to read with newspapers in the classroom performed significantly better than those taught with conventional textbooks.
The results were said to be "stunning" and demonstrated that analytical reading increased with the use of newspapers, that children found articles in each of the newspaprs specifically interesting to them each day. Younger children who learned to read during the study showed faster development than older children who seemed hampered by their previously-learned textbook approach.
Undoubtedly, the reason for these convincing results is that the newspaper reports on and analyzes the real world in which students live. Newspapers are reporting history as it happens - every day.
Students can learn nearly every subject, including geography, reading, writing, spelling, English, math, history, civics, economics and current events from newspapers.
In addition, the world becomes a much more interesting place for people who read regularly.