Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement

Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement

Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement

Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement

Synopsis

Faculty often worry that students can't or won't read critically, a foundational skill for success in academic and professional endeavors. "Critical reading" refers both to reading for academic purposes and reading for social engagement. This volume is based on collaborative, multidisciplinary research into how students read in first-year courses in subjects ranging from scientific literacy through composition. The authors discovered the good (students can read), the bad (students are not reading for social engagement), and the ugly (class assignments may be setting students up for failure) and they offer strategies that can better engage students and provide more meaningful reading experiences.

Excerpt

This book offers a pair of welcome gifts. the first, as promised by its title, is a sustained examination of the character of that mostly invisible, often taken for granted but essential capacity that the authors call “critical reading.” As teachers who care about that capacity from quite different disciplinary perspectives, Karen Manarin (English), Miriam Carey (political science), Melanie Rathburn (biology), and Glen Ryland (history) have much to tell us about how higher education can improve our students’ reading skills in ways that advance not only academic success but also the ability to engage with the social world in consequential ways. Their findings reflect the authors’ in-depth exploration of these issues in their own classrooms at Mount Royal University as well as their journey through the wider research literature about reading and how we learn to do it well. What they bring us is, as they say, “good news, not-so-good news, and bad news,” and a wonderfully detailed account of their own practices as teachers striving to foster effective reading in their students; reflections on how those practices have been changed by this study; and a plea, finally, for a radically more intentional, collaborative approach to the development of critical reading as a cornerstone of effective undergraduate liberal education.

The second gift, which follows from this collaborative vision, is a powerful model for undertaking the scholarship of teaching and learning. the work reported in this book began as part of a Mount Royal University campus program in which faculty were invited to work together on what Richard Gale (who directed the program in its early days) has described as “collaborative investigation and collective scholarship” (2008). the idea, as I understand it, was to create a space for individual faculty to explore questions they were individually passionate about but to do so in ways that led to shared insights and findings that are thus more likely to deliver on the scholarship of teaching and learning’s promise to create new knowledge that others can build on. This vision, this possibility, has recently been championed by others as especially promising. in a session at the 2014 International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), for instance, Peter Felton, Arshad Ahmad, and Joelle Fanghanel argued for what they call “translational research in SoTL,” work that is iterative and collaborative in ways that can make a difference beyond the individual classroom. in this they were building on conceptions of the scholarship of teaching and learning put forward by . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.