During my teacher training for Special Education I learned a rule: Every sound educational program will work for 90% of the population. 10% will struggle. The reasons behind the struggle – the not-fitting in will vary, which makes helping them a real challenge. A class of 30? Three students will have a hard time. It’s amazing how consistent this is.
I’ve found this 10/90 rule to be true in other things as well. For instance, for bestseller books – 90% of the population may be going wild, but there’s always going to be a group that says – huh?
For example, congratulations to Kathryn Erskine on winning the 2010 National Book Award – I look forward to reading Mockingbird. But… I recently read a not-so-enthusiastic review on this same book. It’s not like there was a mistake made – it can come down to a matter of taste.
Reading is, of course, intensely personal and subjective – I’m thinking of some recent comments on this blog from a young reader for an example – and there will always be a small group of readers who don’t want to read what everyone else is reading.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK