Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

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Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby Woravut » 25 Feb 2019 08:48

Recently, I have been reading two books:

1. Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind (written by a historian)
This book depicts the historical development of human, as its name suggests.

2. Thinking, Fast and Slow (written by an economist - he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics)
This book describes two thinking systems: automatic thinking (e.g. intuition, or impression) and effortful thinking (e.g. mathematical calculation)

I read a few sections in one book, and turned to read a few sections in another book.

Do you think my knowledge and understanding will be different if I just finish one book first, and continue with another book?

Generally, when we, as teachers, assign students to read, we just give them a list of books or articles.

Do you think it is a good idea to suggest "different ways" they can read/approach the books/articles?
Do different ways of reading construct different pieces of knowledge and understanding?
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby justthedave » 26 Feb 2019 11:48

Personally, I prefer to concurrently read two to four books about similar topics. The only time I will completely read one book is if I am being exposed to a NEW topic in which I possess little or no existing knowledge. That is just how my brain works...... :D
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby Jan_Sompatu » 27 Feb 2019 06:41

Different ways of reading or navigating something (e.g book, websites), in my opinion, have significant effects on your mental process.

My preference is to read one book straight and finish it before starting the next one. This is a linear process we are familiar with. I can gradually build upon what I have read in the previous chapters. For me it is the emotional (e.g. reading the most touching part in the novel and you are dying to know what is next) and cognitive (e.g. I totally forgot what happened previously) connection.

However, for some types of books whose emotional and cognitive connection between the chapters is not that strong (I mean if it is not the narrative or story line like a novel or if each chapter pretty much ends in itself like one chapter = one period of time in the history), reading some part of the book and leave it for you to carefully think about what you have just read can be a good idea as well ><

Ps there is no right or wrong answer. It is just my opinion ><
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby Wenwen Tian » 27 Feb 2019 17:24

Personally, I prefer to finish reading a book straightforwardly, especial when I am reading purely for entertainment If I have sufficient free time. But in some cases, for instance, reading for a research project, I would be selectively and purposefully reading several books on the same topics simultaneously.
In my view, people have different reading habits/approaches to grabbing information and gaining knowledge from paper-paper-based as well as digital resources. This leads to an interesting research topic proposed by Boy: Do “different ways of reading construct different pieces of knowledge and understanding?"
***If yes, why & how? If not, why?
To answer this question, I need to read and think more... :)
Wenwen Tian
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby Woravut » 28 Feb 2019 09:17

Wen Wen, I think it would be very interesting to look at that. However, to what extent do students 'actively' make connections of existing ideas with newly read ideas is not easy. as far as I remember, Aj. Richard did something about reading and schemata, and published it somewhere. Maybe it is a good idea to look at his article.

I think our knowledge and understanding are based on potential possibilities of what consciously and subconsciously comes up in our heads induced by random/scattered ideas at that specific time.
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby donparo » 28 Feb 2019 22:08

People approach reading in different ways. If I were to read for pleasure, I might read the same way as you did. But if it is an academic reading, I need to organized it well so as to retain significant knowledge and insights. Whatever your ways are, I know they do serve their purpose. After all, there is no prescriptive way in approaching reading. :)
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby Eric Ambele » 01 Mar 2019 11:24

This dilemma is a debatable one that could be approached differently by different people depending on their preferred reading style and the purpose for reading, too. Usually, I'd read books (2 or more -it depends) on similar topics together to construct and build a stronger understanding of that topic. However, If I need to make connections with other related/unrelated topics (maybe to build a stronger argument from different perspectives or construct a better understanding of the whole topic), then, I'd read books with different focusses at the same time. But even at that, I’ll always try to make sure that the differences in the books’ focus really don’t vary a lot.

It’s been my effective way approaching reading, knowledge and understanding.
Eric Ambele
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Re: Reading, knowledge, and understanding - Dilemma

Postby punjaporn » 01 Mar 2019 14:33

Is everything here about what you want from reading? Personally, the purpose of reading, for pleasure or for learning, would shape the way I read.
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