While teaching a third year university course in the Early Childhood Program I(Cathy) caught myself making assumptions about my students’ levels of comprehension. While working with with one student who seemed to lack a focus in her paper, I asked her to take the article we were examining home with her and highlight the important issues she noted on each page. When we next met, I asked to see the article; every paragraph was highlighed; every word was now encased in bright neon yellow. When I asked her if she thought perhaps a point made in one paragraph could be more important than another she insisted that it was all important because it had been published. Images of classes I had taught to elementary school children on discernment of text and critical thinking, and critical pedagogy flashed through my mind. Was she never taught this? I had assumed my third year students would arrive in my class with this skill. I was wrong. So now what?
I smiled at her . “Let’s look at the first paragraph together,” I said. I knew I couldn’t catch her up with her many lost years, but we could make a start. Such is teaching.