Tuesday, September 29, 2015

McMullen Memo 5

As I was reading the section in Buehl on "Reading in Academic Disciplines", I found myself nodding along to what he was saying. He discusses his natural tendency to read from a historian lens due to years of practice, and I have many times caught myself reading papers in other disciplines much as I would read a scientific paper. Buehl addresses the idea that we can learn to read from different lens and the benefits that come from reading with different lenses. In many high school science classes, I don't think we really teach students how to read from a scientific lens. They may need to read their textbooks, but we rarely dive in to actual scientific articles, journals, and books. When I think back on my high school science classes, I distinctly remember the first time I read a scientific journal article in AP Biology. I was overwhelmed and confused, but I also felt like a "real scientist". Once my teacher taught us how to read through a scientific paper, my interest in biology was completely solidified. My teacher told us that doctoral students could be reading the same paper we were, which opened my eyes to the possibility of making biology a career. By teaching our students how to read in a scientific lens and phrasing questions/discussions in a way that suggests an identity, we might change the way our students view science (at least that was my experience!).

I also found Buehl's section on "Comprehension Processes of Proficient Readers" interesting. I know for a fact, I have done all of the pseudoreading that he mentioned, but it was really nice to get a concrete definition of what those types are and why they are done. It will make me more mindful as I'm assigning reading for my students of what I want to emphasize in the attempt to get them to read for comprehension instead of pseudoreading. In addition to bringing awareness to pseudoreading, Beuhl also discusses the seven fundamental comprehension processes. Knowing what these processes are allows us, as educators, to try to identify and encourage them in our students, in addition to, building lessons and assignments that help students form these in to habits. Through the way we utilize the texts we assign as reading in class and the questions we ask them to think about while reading, we have the opportunity to engrain these processes in our students. Buehl just made all of that really clear to me in the table on p. 35.

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