Tag Archives: Summa Theologica

You Can Lead a Student to the Library, But You Can’t Make Them Read, or Can You?

This is the first post in a series on developing close reading habits in a freshmen Core Biology course.

Student at His Desk-Melancholy (1633) by Pieter CoddeWhen we started doing original text reading in freshmen Core Biology, students had a devil of a time trying to understand a text like Summa Theologica.  In fact, students were having a difficult time reading and understanding just about any original text we threw at them (e.g., Plato’s Meno, Chapter 1 in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Darwin’s Origin of Species, etc.). Granted, the texts they struggled with were not easy texts to read, but comprehension was being replaced by full retreat from attempting to understand even after the first reading assignment was given. Students did not know how to tackle a text that did not have the 3 characteristics they look for in a book: short, simple, and shocking. After a long period of time we finally started to realize what the problem was. Continue reading You Can Lead a Student to the Library, But You Can’t Make Them Read, or Can You?