Critical Reading - They don’t read do they?Sandra Sinfield - LDU – LearnHigherCETL and LDHENLondon Met 2007
London Met – reading readingWhy students are not readingWhat’s it for – why do we want our students toread?Range of practical activities to encouragereading – thinking - writing
Why some don’t readLack cultural capitalLack of academic capitalStudying seen as part timeStudents read less than they didSheer amount of information…Shift to modularity – more reading expected of less inductedstudents with less timeSubjects seen as vocational rather than academicEffect of HE policy and practice
What’s it for?Quantity?The ability to find difficult sources?The discovery of obscure texts?Reading for meaning?Reading for critical engagement?http://www.publishinghub.net/
What we can doMake explicit what we mean by taken for grantedpractices Independent learner Reading list Read around the subject Read and make notes
ActivityBrainstorm: Why do we read? How do we know what to read? How can we read effectively? How much should we read?Discuss with group – acknowledge reading is difficult – but gets easier with practice
Read in the curriculumEmbed opportunities for students to develop academic practices in the curriculum: Acknowledge time constraints: specify … photocopy… Make space for reading and reading related activities:
Model it!Model reading yourself – breaking text intochunks – use of skim and scan & in depthDiscuss your reading – it can be difficult foreveryone!Split students into pairs/groups – give a text toread in classTextmapping can help:http://www.textmapping.org/using.html
Support itMake a meal of reading use your QOOQRRRQ – Question – novice, initiateO – Overview1 – of courseO – Overview2 – of textQ – Question – why am I reading this now?R – read actively and interactivelyR – re-read and make notesR – review
Active, interactive & critical reading strategyActivity:For EACH significant section: What is this paragraph about? Where is the writer coming from? Who would agree/disagree with this position? What is the argument? Who would dis/agree? What is the evidence? Is it valid? How do you know?Annotations – marginalia - short notes.TIP: index cards of all sources – re-cycle reading
Link to writing:We feel that students ‘cannot write’ becausethey do not read!Hence increase in plagiarism?Possibly link reading strategy to writing strategy‘The paragraph as dialogue’
Writing questions:What is this paragraph about?What exactly is that?What is your argument? (Tell me more)What is the evidence (for & against)?What does it mean?How does this relate back to the question as awhole?
Make reading necessaryRead this & come to seminar with: Three words that describe how it made you feel A bare bones summary (25 words) A visual summary An object that represents something from the text – to discuss One question that you would ask the author A one minute presentation Value the effort that is put in when it is.
Emergency tactic:When half of them have not read the set text: Get everyone to select one sentence from the text that they have found meaningful (a main point or an idea with which to argue) Get them to write this on a post-it or on the whiteboard and say why they chose it. The ones who did read should be able to make an informed choice – others have to busk it… An interesting discussion ensues!! Maybe they all read next time.
ResearchIf you want to participate in the Learn HigherCETL research into reading and notemakingOr share your reading/notemaking resourcesand strategiesContact Sandra Sinfield firstname.lastname@example.org for moreinformation.
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