Being aware of yourself as a reader
MYTH: I have one way of learning and reading.
REALITY: Evidence-based research data do not support the common-sense notion of a preferred learning style or the utility of a teaching method associated with a preferred learning styles. Although many students are committed to the idea of Learning Styles, such as visual-auditory-kinesthetic, we all can adapt to various circumstances and learn effectively.
See “The Learning Styles Myth is Thriving in Higher Education” by PM Newton 2015
A reader’s approach will depend on many factors, such as
- Background knowledge/schema: How much background knowledge do I have of the topic?
- Attitude: What is my attitude to the reading? e.g. Do I feel motivated? Do I feel like putting it off? Do I only read material I’m interested?
- Concentration and focusing: How well will I be able to concentrate and focus on the reading?
Some strategies to increase focus while reading include:
- Read in a quiet space, or one with a helpful amount of background buzz.
- Read small sections and then make notes of details. It is not reasonable to expect yourself to understand the whole chapter after 1 reading from start to finish.
- Engage your thinking by asking questions as you read.
- Summarize in your own words: what was this section about?
- Designate time to think and develop your ideas.
- Balance the need to learn details with your desire to understand and generate abstract conceptualizations.
See Focus and Concentration module for more suggestions to increase focus.
- Content: What is my most effective approach to reading this type of material?
- Learning Styles and Approaches to Reading
- Improving Your Concentration