Strategy #3: Identifying prior knowledge with KBG

Cognitive psychology studies have established that we learn new information more readily if we have prior knowledge upon which to build this new learning. The KBG strategy allows students to query their minds regarding their previous knowledge on the subject. This strategy also allows students to identify biases which, if not consciously acknowledged and put aside, can interfere with reading the content accurately. This is especially important when students are assigned readings on controversial subjects.

KBG will help identify a purpose for reading by considering learning goals. Here are some instructions you can give to your students:

Write down answers to the following questions:

K What do I already know about the subject of this reading?

B What are my biases? Can I put them aside and really hear what the author thinks?(Biases are strong opinions you may have about a subject. If you don't acknowledge them and put them aside as you read, you may find it hard to understand differing opinions expressed by the authors in your assignments).

G What are my goals for learning as I read this? In other words, what should I learn by reading this assignment?

Then use the following chart to manage this previewing strategy:

(prior knowledge)
What do I already know?

(interfering biases)
What are my biases?

(goals for learning)
What do I want to learn?

Before you read it, KBG it!