Becoming Specialists and Reading as Researchers
Two years ago, I learned to swim by enrolling in an adult swimming class. When I was registering for the class I remember asking the assistant what I needed for class. Simple questions: Can you recommend a brand of swimming goggles? Is this class appropriate for someone who has very limited swimming skills? Will I need to bring anything else?
My questions were ‘definition questions,’ simple questions that gave me the basic information I needed to get started on my new learning.
Now that I have been swimming for a couple of years, now that I have learned the basics needed to swim, the questions I ask my swim instructor are deeper. Is my torso rotation in sync with the downward pull section of my stroke? Is my hand entering the water at the correct angle? Is my kick starting at my hip joint? The questions are deeper and get to the specifics of being an effective swimmer.
The important idea that I want to teach you is that as we read deeper, we start asking questions that get at the core of the motivations and consequences of the events we study. We may ask ourselves, ‘Why does this matter?’ or ‘What difference does this make?’ or ‘What parts are important to explore?’