I’ve discovered that there are three types of reading (at least…). There’s normal reading, which you’re doing right now. There’s reading to learn, which we do when we’re studying. I differentiate this from normal reading because the reader knows the information they’re reading will be required at some point in the future – in an exam, or a debate, or in their job. Then there’s reading to teach, which is what I’ve been doing for the past week or so in preparation for another weekend of Green Steps training.
I’ve found that reading to teach adds an extra level of complexity on top of reading to learn, because I’m not only working the information into my own mental network of information, I’m also actively contemplating how it would fit with those of other people and how best to communicate the content. It’s probably a similar process that journalists use when researching an article; read, understand, and extract the themes which are important and will engage.
While it may sound like I’m having a bit of a whinge about how hard it is, it’s also exciting, because I know I’ll get to share the best bits of what I’m learning with other people and see how they respond to and interpret it. That, in turn, will teach me more about the material. It helps that the material is very interesting – I’m teaching a module on behaviour change management, which is an intriguing, sometimes counter-intuitive and occasionally morally dubious field. I will be blogging on the topic in more detail in coming weeks, when my schedule settles down a bit!