Learning to read, reading to learn: strategies to move students from 'keen to learn' to 'keen to read'

Teaching History article

By Martin Loy, published 5th December 2008

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Conventionally, students learn to read before they come to secondary school. As a result, for the majority of our students, reading can be taken for granted. Yet sometimes, as history  teachers, we can find that we assume too much. Although our students are often able to read the words of the text in front of them, do they read with understanding? Can they get behind the text and between the lines in order to interpret meaning? How can we inspire students to want to read in a critical, but constructive manner? These are questions raised by Martin Loy throughout his varied career in history teaching. He recognised that preceding the challenge of teaching students to write good history was the underlying need to motivate students to read. Inspired by articles in Teaching History 111, Loy has developed a range of approaches to challenge his students not just to read, but to read well...

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