In many areas of society the Slow Movement is making (steady) progress in cooking, travel, and even design. Now I propose Slow Reading in the Digital Age. As I was completing the Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age course at the University a few months ago, I realised the strong benefits of closer reading. This may seem obvious, particularly as I’m an eternal student passionate about studying and I support students in the Library with Academic Writing, but my epiphany happened after reading Michael Peter’s (2005) wonderfully insightful The new prudentialism in education: Actuarial rationality and the entrepreneurial self in the journal Educational Theory. Then it occurred to me that students undertaking a dissertation proposal did not need to collate a mountain of research to hone in on an idea, but rather focus on what a really interesting article is saying and get some ideas for a possible title, before considering a working structure. It is a problem in the Digital Age when 24/7 access to thousands and thousands of articles means that there is a natural tendency to accumulate material that is not going to be read. In other words, amassing journal articles looks good but nothing is actually learned. Blame strategic learning which may encourage superficial reading. Nothing is demonstrated. I found Peter’s article about risk aversion in corporate governance so engaging that everything needed to be slowed down to concentrate effectively. Find yourself away from distractions, away from the laptop, and journey into a closer inspection of one article to let the author’s ideas sink in.
Published by Daren Mansfield on June 24, 2015 at 8:52 am