The trouble with academic reading: exposing hidden threshold concepts through academic reading retreats

  • Angela Rhead Keele University
Keywords: academic reading, higher education

Abstract

Acknowledged as a troublesome threshold concept for students and teachers alike in higher education (HE), academic reading persists as a significant yet under-investigated challenge. This paper introduces an exciting teaching innovation launched in 2017 at Keele University to meet that challenge: academic reading retreats. Adapting a writing retreat format, they deliver a range of strategies for reading journal articles and provide opportunities for private practice and shared reflections, which can facilitate deep learning about complex epistemological concepts. They open a dialogue within the academic community that helps students better understand the relationship between reading and enquiry, and helps academics better understand their students’ reading challenges. This case study provides a brief literature review and personal reflections about facilitating student reading, an introduction to our academic reading retreats and a preliminary evaluation of their potential. It concludes with a recommendation for extended time and space for academics and students to explore academic reading together, alongside an acknowledgement of the challenges that entails.

Author Biography

Angela Rhead, Keele University
Learning Developer / Teaching Fellow
Published
2019-11-29
How to Cite
Rhead, A. (2019) “The trouble with academic reading: exposing hidden threshold concepts through academic reading retreats”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. Plymouth, UK, 0(15). Available at: https://journal.aldinhe.ac.uk/index.php/jldhe/article/view/502 (Accessed: 1June2020).