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Teachers Should Read? The Periodical Literature of the Teaching Profession: Concerns and Cures

Jarvis Finger

Despite hard times the information explosion continues. As a result, professional people who aim to be well informed and abreast of current developments find that the task becomes more burdensome with each passing day. An educator uses many resources - conferences and workshops, membership of professional associations, tertiary studies, advisory consultants, and reading. But over the past few hundred years, the main vehicle for professional growth has been the printed word and the evidence suggests that this will continue to be so, even in an era of changing technology. Of all reading material periodicals have distinct advantages. Indeed, in surveys of the professional reading habits of scientists, technologists, academics and other professional practitioners the periodical is the most frequently used of all sources of information.
Millions of dollars are channelled annually into the production and purchase of periodicals for educators, but research into their use and impact remains surprisingly meagre. Most studies lead to a very similar conclusion - that there is a widespread lack of support for periodical literature among educators at most levels. Few studies have been prepared to list particular, workable proposals to remedy the situation. Here are the sobering research findings to date and some proposals.

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