MY PEER WROTE:
I chose to read Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition, by David W. Concepcion. This article evaluates an average philosophy students ability to analyze and understand a philosophical text, as well as presents a theory that “explicit reading instruction” should be included and taught in beginner level philosophy courses. The author presents a case that correctly and fully understanding philosophy requires self awareness as well as retention and comprehension.
Prior to beginning this assignment, I had planned to read the article in the same way I have been reading all assigned texts: a modified form of SQ3R that works for me in terms of reading style and level of comprehension. I always read my assignments in the morning (since that is when my house is the most quiet and least chaotic), so I planned to continue with that pattern as well. I am a prolific highlighter and note-taker, so I made sure I had all my tools and was ready to read before starting. I had a lot of success with using my variation on SQ3R in past assignments, so I intended to continue with that strategy.
I approached this article in the same way I did the journal article last week: got out my sticky notes and highlighters, wrote down the steps of SQ3R (my chosen method) again so I could follow the guidelines, and then began to read the material. I chose to print the material, because I feel I can take better notes and review easier with a hard copy. Then I skimmed Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition in its entirety, highlighting what I thought might be key words or phrases and underlining words I did not understand. I also noted any questions I had in the margins during this step-SQ3R intends for the “Skimming” and “Questioning” steps to be separate, however I have found that combining them makes the process more streamlined and easier for me. After skimming and questioning, I returned to my highlighted words that required definitions and looked those words up, making note of the definitions in the margins of my article so I could easily refer to then during the next step. Then I read the article completely, and then went back and recited (for me internally, out loud doesn’t work in my busy house). Finally I reviewed, making sure I had answered my own questions as well as focused on key words and phrases. Interestingly, this article outlines a different reading method specifically for philosophical texts that I found very intriguing. After my re-read, I feel that this “Three -Part Reading Process” may be helpful to me when reading literature for critique purposes, so I intend to keep my hard copy of the article in my school binder so I can refer to it again if desired.
After applying the SQ3R method to various types of materials over the past few weeks, I am confident that it will work best for me in future assignments. The steps and outlines appeal to my inherent sense of organization, the “Questioning” and “Recall” steps make the most of my copious note taking and highlighting, and the option to re-read and recite help me insure that I am understanding the text and its concepts. I feel fairly confident in my ability to tackle advanced materials in future classes using my own modified version of the SQ3R, I appreciate that it helps me to internalize what I am reading and formulate my own opinions and summaries.