Before I launch into blogging myself, here’s a useful post by Allan Johnson on making use of the pedagogical model called Bloom’s Taxonomy to articulate to students how they can make better use of secondary source material. I’ve spent quite a lot of time this year reading pedagogical material, and I will probably blog on some of my thoughts about it at some point anon. This blog post is a good example of how educational theory, often dismissed by teachers in higher education as jargon that attempts to teach grandmothers how to suck eggs, can be utilised effectively in a classroom situation.
Yesterday I wrote about how I introduce secondary source research to students. Those 7 questions, are, of course, only the starting point for helping students to get the full benefit from engaging with the work of other thinkers.
When our students are working with secondary source material in their writing, we should be encouraging them to use their sources to explicitly support, develop, or refine their own argument. We sometimes forget that student writers can become part of the wider critical conversation on a topic. By helping them to use their sources to develop their argument, rather than simply reiterating the arguments of others, we can help them to enter that conversation as well.
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