Critical Reading

Yesterday I followed a course in critical reading. It’s a method for not just reading texts with a critical mindset, but it helps you placing the text in a wider context. It’s about analysing a text to find out what it says, what it does, and what it means. At the beginning of the course I thought this was something I always do. During class I found out that this is not really true.

As an assignment we were asked to read five texts. Then we were asked to analyse one of these texts with the Critical Reading method and then discuss it with two fellow students. During the critical reading process, and especially during the discussions with my fellow students I noticed that I had missed quite a few important details. Hidden agendas. Inconsistencies. False arguments.

When I teach my students about web design I want certain aspects to become obvious. Things like high contrast, alternative ways of interaction, different screen sizes, crappy devices. I’m going to treat this critical reading method in the same way. It should become second nature.