From clfigg

In some sense, the blogger’s typically less academic voice is relevant to my question. From our readings for the week, including the “Study Strategies” chapter in the handbook and the articles on pre-college and college level reading and critical literacy in “Teaching Developmental Reading”, I was inspired to think about motivation and student interest.

My question is, how can instructors generate student interest and foster critical literacy skills if developmental students have significant and consistent trouble identifying main ideas due to lack of interest in the readings?

My question is partly inspired by my observation of an English 114 class last year. Students spent an entire class period reading a Time Magazine article about a man who was fighting a law that negatively impacted the environment. Sections of the article were read aloud by students and each student completed a handout that asked basic questions about the article.  By the end of the class, only two students out of 20 were able to identify whether the guy was for or against the law discussed in the article.

Lesley’s article on critical literacy suggests that inquiry or critical engagement are key to success, and I tend to agree. However, many students seem so disinterested or unused to owning their own sense of academic inquiry that using this strategy as an entry point seems of limited use. Which brings me back to the tone of blogging. Would encouraging students to frame their inquiry in a more visual and casual  blog format help foster habits of critical inquiry?

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One response to “From clfigg

  1. I think you may be on to something about the blogging. The general idea I believe is trying to get the students engaged with the materials, and I think a big way to do that is by giving the students more liberty both in their choice of reading materials and in their responses. Blogging is one way to do this, as students are likley to be more familiar and comfortable with an electronic format. But the way we frame questions, or even if we frame them at all is also important. It could be possible to have students come up with their own questions even, with a little bit of guidance. Coupled with the idea of letting students choose their own materials, I believe this could lead to more effective class engagement.

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