It is very common to hear faculty from across the disciplines and levels lament that “our students can’t read.” Many of us assign reading with the presumption that students will not be able to “get through it” on their own, and have devised various methods for helping students “get” the content without having actually comprehended it. Sometimes we even give up on having students read much at all.
Reading Apprenticeship™, developed by WestEd’s Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI), advocates a different view of students’ capacity as readers, thinkers, and learners, and we at 3CSN think that it is a compelling and powerful approach. Rather than bemoan students’ inadequate preparation for academic work, RA helps faculty learn how to build on students’ underestimated strengths as readers and problem solvers and create instructional opportunities for “apprenticing” students into discipline-specific academic literacies.
Our students can read, they do read, and they deserve a rigorous and engaging curriculum that apprentices them into academic and disciplinary modes of thinking and engaging with text.