Our attention was captured by this headline from The Globe and Mail: "Who goes to university? A clue: Have a dictionary?" Our parents had a huge dictionary (swivel stand and all) prominently displayed in the family room and not only did we use it for homework, we loved looking through it and, usually, reading the entries that had pictures next to them. Is the presence of a dictionary in the home really a predictor of future educational attainment?
Well, the article doesn't exactly claim that: "A dictionary is not literally the ticket to university. It's more like a symbol of what's going on in the family, and what kind of family the prospective student comes from." The author, Jeffrey Simpson, goes on to talk about parents' own education level and the value they place on education outstripping parental income as a factor in children going on to higher education. As one reader comments, "The dictionary of course, is representative of a home culture that values education and learning."
We suppose having Dictionary.com in your browswer bookmarks counts for something, but having an honest to goodness print dictionary easily accessible to children at home seems important. What do you say? Do you have one? Do your kids use it?