Recently I heard a blurb about how students in elementary school need to learn how to read well because they’re not just learning how to read but also learning how to learn (since reading is a learning tool). So if students don’t learn how to read well they won’t know how to learn well.
How can I apply this to the college courses I teach?
I’ve always operated under the assumption that my courses (in Communication Studies) are important because they help students learn to be better people: giving them work skills, shaping them into citizens of a democratic society, creating fulfilling social relationships, etc. These are some of the basic values of a liberal education. And I have tried to instill these values in my students, too.
Teaching my students how to learn has always been one of my objectives. But from what I know now about reading in elementary schools perhaps I should make learning how to learn the top priority in my college courses—not by changing the content of my courses as much as changing the purpose for teaching that content.