Critical Reading: How not to get fooled by what you read
Critical reading is an essential skill for everyone in today’s world in which there is as much misinformation as there is information, with writers having vested interests or biases. Learn how to think and read critically and evaluate whether claims have justifications and sound bases.
(This course is targeted at children entering Grades 8, 9, 10 in 2020-21)
We read news, magazines and books all the time. These may say things like ‘Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman of all time’, ‘Dark chocolate is good for health’ or ‘The great wall of China can be seen from Space’. How do we know if what we read is true- should we believe what we read in ‘reputed sources’ and disbelieve sources we don’t know about? Is there a way we can check the claims made, on our own, to decide if these are true, false or partly true? Critical reading is an essential skill for everyone in today’s world in which there is as much misinformation as there is information, with writers having vested interests or biases.
In this course, students will learn to evaluate if claims are justified, by examining the grounds (basis) for these and checking if the claim is a valid conclusion from the grounds. Through this course, students can build a habit of identifying the central claims of a piece, asking the right questions to evaluate the veracity of these claims, and also considering information that may not be present in the piece but is relevant to the evaluation. Thus students would accept or reject a claim or ‘keep it on hold’ only after sound reasoning.
Sriram Naganathan has been closely associated as a resource person with IgnusERG, a group of professionals working to improve the quality of education for marginalized children across India at elementary and secondary levels.
When he finds time, Sriram also teaches History at The School-KFI, Chennai.
Sriram trained in Business Journalism at the Times Research Foundation in Delhi and was a Reuter Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK. He held editorial positions in publications such as Business India and Business World, and wrote for publications such as Asian Venture Capital Journal and Oxford Analytica before moving to the field of education full-time. Sriram also advises Venture Intelligence, which tracks deals in the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India.