What is Critical Reading, and why do I need to do it?
Teaching Critical Reading through Literature. This Digest focuses on developing thinking skills in reading.
Tierney and Pearson posit that readers draw on background experiences to compose a text, engaging in an ongoing negotiation to arrive at meaning.
This is fundamental to the act of reading. For this reason, reading offers the potential for higher level thinking. Another underlying principle in the instruction of higher order thinking skills in reading is the acceptance of the theme of active learning.
Literacy scholar Paulo Freire contends that those who share in the learning process are empowered by a critical consciousness of themselves as meaning makers.
Freire supports the position which suggests that it is language that provides the tool for meaning construction. Language is a thinking process which allows students to learn and grow. Paradoxically, Critical reading of professional literature have had this tool at their fingertips for years, but have failed to respond to the cries for greater competency by looking to language as the source for improvement.
It is only within the last decade, and particularly the last five years, that schools have begun to identify ways to optimize language use to promote higher level thinking.
Learners were not able to reconstruct the structure and meaning of ideas expressed by others. Not only were students unable to summarize, they were rarely encouraged to support an evaluative interpretation.
Reading instruction reflected the lowest level of thinking--it lacked critical analysis. Today, professional organizations and the professional literature support critical thinking in the classroom and call for teachers to guide students in developing higher level thinking skills Neilsen, Because teaching higher level cognitive processes requires comprehension, inference, and decision making, the reading classroom is the logical place to begin.
These skills have been associated with reading instruction for years. Now, instead of being enrichment skills, they have become core skills.
Teaching students to think while reading is referred to in the professional literature as "critical reading. It offers children the opportunity to actively engage in texts while simultaneously considering ideas, values, and ethical questions.
Through literature, students learn to read personally, actively, and deeply Sweet, Students must be encouraged to question, to make predictions, and to organize ideas which support value judgments. Two techniques for developing these kinds of critical reading skills include problem solving and learning to reason through reading.
Flynn describes an instructional model for problem solving which promotes analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of ideas. She states that, "When we ask students to analyze we expect them to clarify information by examining the component parts. Synthesis involves combining relevant parts into a coherent whole, and evaluation includes setting up standards and then judging against them to verify the reasonableness of ideas.
Comprehension requires inferencing, which plays a central role in reasoning and problem solving. When literature is approached from a problem solving perspective, students are asked to evaluate evidence, draw conclusions, make inferences, and develop a line of thinking Riecken and Miller, According to Flynnchildren are capable of solving problems at all ages and need to be encouraged to do so at every grade level.
See, for example, "Using Fairy Tales"  for young children; Anton  for elementary children; Johannessen  for middle school children. She cautions against skills lessons that are repackaged in the name of critical thinking but which are only renamed worksheets.
She points out that teaching students to read, write, and think critically is a dramatic shift from what has generally taken place in most classrooms. It is not an easy task to incorporate higher level thinking skills into the classroom, but it is a necessary one. For students to participate in the society in which they live, they must have experiences which prepare them for life.
In order to become critical thinkers, it is essential that students learn to value their own thinking, to compare their thinking and their interpretations with others, and to revise or reject parts of that process when it is appropriate.
A classroom environment which is student-centered fosters student participation in the learning process. Learning that is both personal and collaborative encourages critical thinking.
Students who are reading, writing, discussing, and interacting with a variety of learning materials in a variety of ways are more likely to become critical thinkers.
They help students identify purposes for reading, formulate hypotheses, and test the accuracy of their hypotheses throughout the reading process. In addition, asking students to examine their own reading and learning processes creates the awareness necessary for critical reading.
Post-reading activities that extend texts provide an opportunity for teachers to check for learning. Transforming ideas from reading into artwork, poetry, etc.
Critical readers are active readers.Advanced students and professionals, however, do not read academic and professional literature in this way; instead, they have developed a set of informed strategies. Strategies for critical reading can vary by discipline, text-type, and the purpose of the particular reading assignment.
Advanced students and professionals, however, do not read academic and professional literature in this way; instead, they have developed a set of informed strategies. Strategies for critical reading can vary by discipline, text-type, and the purpose of the particular reading assignment.
Literature & Creative Writing; Technical Communication; History; Developing Critical Thinking Skills; Engaging Students in Active Learning; Using a Team-Based Approach to Learning; Critical Reading.
PreK–12 Education; Higher Education; Industry & Professional; About Us; United States. A nurses’ guide to the critical reading of research Note: This paper was first published in AJAN 26(1) and has been updated to maintain currency.
practice, professional work and study in the health sciences (Bradshaw , p; Burns and Grove , Literature Search The literature review is generally in the introductory. Critical Reading and Writing Critical Reading and Writing The handouts and worksheets listed and linked to here are intended to help students learn to .
Reading instruction reflected the lowest level of thinking--it lacked critical analysis. Today, professional organizations and the professional literature support critical thinking in the classroom and call for teachers to guide students in .