Critical Reading - They don’t read do they?Sandra Sinfield - LDU – LearnHigherCETL and LDHENMarch 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 academicImplicit HE curriculum: need to make explicit what we mean bytaken for granted practices – need to embed opportunities forstudents to develop academic practices in the curriculum.
What’s it for?Reading – what do we want?What are we testing? The ability to find difficultsources? The discovery of obscure texts? Quantityread? Reading for meaning? Reading for criticalengagement?Acknowledge time constraints: specify, photocopy…Make space for reading and reading related activitieshttp://www.publishinghub.net/
Reading within the curriculumBrainstorm: 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
Model it!Discuss your reading – it is difficult foreveryone!Set student pairs/groups a text to read in classTextmapping can help:http://www.textmapping.org/using.htmlModel reading yourself in class – breaking textinto chunks – use of skim and scan & in depth:
Active, interactive & critical reading strategyFor 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 One question that you would ask the author An object that represents something from the text – to discuss 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) – they then write this on a post-it or on the whiteboard and say why they chose it. The ones who did read make an informed choice – others have to busk it… An interesting discussion ensues – and may be they all read next time.
Research Encourage your students to participate in the LearnHigher research project exploring reading: http://www.surveymonkey .com/s.asp?u=268963177707 Contact Sandra Sinfield s.sinfield@ londonmet.ac.uk for more information.