Scaffolding Critical Reading




critical reading, scaffolding, literary studies, reading across the curriculum, templates


Teachers in any discipline where reading matters should practice a robust scaffolding pedagogy to teach critical reading, in contrast to the more common but less direct approaches that often leave students to learn or not learn these skills themselves. In this essay, I describe how to adapt established methods for teaching writing (including templates) to teaching reading. To answer critics who might find the approach too “reductive,” I turn to scaffolding theory, which calls for purposefully—but temporarily—reductive teaching. Finally, I present qualitative and quantitative evidence from three years of an American literature course to show how a scaffolding approach can help students read critically.


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Author Biography

Paul T. Corrigan, University of Tampa

Paul T. Corrigan teaches at the University of Tampa (USA).


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A textbook titled "I Hear America Singing: An Anthology of Literature from the United States" with a picture of the Statue of Liberty on the cover. Beneath the textbook is an open page showing annotated notes.




How to Cite

Corrigan, Paul T. 2023. “Scaffolding Critical Reading”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 11 (August).