Thursday, November 11, 2021

Curious Reading

The next weeks are fast paced for our students, as they finish projects, create and condense study tools, and practice problems in preparation for final exams.  But one thing often goes missing - reading.  And not just any sort of reading, reading curiously, carefully, and courageously.  I call these the "3-sees of reading."

That's especially apparent when doing exam reviews.

Often times, exams miss the point because, well, students miss the questions asked.  


Because students are often so worried about time or memorization that they don't train themselves to take care to read carefully, curiously, and courageously. That takes lots of practice with problems - using study tools as tools - and then reflecting and learning from what one produced through reflective practice.  That includes practice in reading curiously, carefully, and courageously.

I like what one person said:

"Practice makes possible." Turner, C., "Practice Makes Possible: What We Learn by Studying Amazing Kids," NPR (Jun. 1, 2016). 

In that article, the author in interviewing scholars Anders Ericcson and Robert Pool discovers that studies show that experts are not born but grown through deliberate practice.  Practice that makes possible.

That's true with reading, too. But not just any sort of practice.  It's practice with purpose. That's where we in ASP come in mighty handily.  We can help our students help themselves grow as readers, learners, and problem-solvers.  

For a few thoughts on what that might look like, take a look at the article cited above.  Or, to borrow the words of Prof. Liz Stillman, reflect on this thought: "Academic Support professors profess to assist pre-professionals become professionals using practices that produce prosperity." Stillman, L, Articulation (Nov. 8, 2021).  That makes me wonder, what sorts of practices do I use to improve the reading of my students? (Scott Johns).

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