This blog first appeared on Share My Lesson. Has anyone ever told you that young children aren’t capable of having abstract thoughts? That was the prevailing view when I studied psychology many moons ago. But recent research and practical experience are challenging this conventional wisdom. According to Eager to Learn, the National Research Council’s report on… Continue reading How to Honor Childhood with Intellectual Rigor
In an increasingly complicated world, it is essential that we honor the research-rich past and harness children’s natural curiosity as we look to the future. How do we move beyond surface learning to reach deeper comprehension? What strategies help students make connections between ideas and use their learning to unlock new situations? This webinar shares… Continue reading Teaching for Transfer
Here is one of our all-time most popular posts. Although most of us are winding down the school year, it's a good time to reflect and start collecting strategies for next year! 3 Simple Strategies to Develop Students’ Critical Thinking This week we’ve focused on critical thinking using the model developed by the Foundation for Critical… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: 3 Simple Strategies for Critical Thinking
I teach history, which means I teach a fair amount of research. I ask students to engage in short-term web-based research in class on their iPads to introduce them to a new unit, and often ask them to find articles to answer an essential question at home for homework. In my 9th and 11th grade… Continue reading Teaching research skills in the 21st century
We have all tried to teach students to make connections between things that have obvious connections. But what about between things that don't have obvious connections? In his book Brain Rules, expert John Medina talks about a six-year study of more than 3,000 innovative company executives published in 2009. One of the biggest common factors… Continue reading The Power of Making Connections
Most of our blog posts about critical thinking borrow ideas and resources from the Foundation for Critical Thinking, and this one is no exception. If somehow you have missed the classroom-ready organizers, handouts, rubrics, and strategies from our previous posts, fear not. They are ALL essentially compiled in this PDF of "The Aspiring Thinker's Guide… Continue reading An entire critical thinking curriculum in one booklet
In December of last year, we offered a quick post on egocentrism and critical thinking, which reminded me of some important shifts we need to make as educators. As many of us embark on discussions of sensitive, complex, and important issues -- from Ferguson to ISIS to ebola -- with the young people in our care, we… Continue reading Throwback Tuesday: Teaching beyond egocentrism and sociocentrism
Young peoples' lives are saturated with media. Facebook and Twitter feeds, Google ads, and YouTube videos are with them everywhere they go, not to mention the radio, TV, and print media inputs they are exposed to. This is why educators, and the public at large, are growing more concerned with media literacy. Enter the News… Continue reading Trending: Media Literacy
I recently asked my students to reflect on our first unit of study and present their reflections to me. They needed to identify and explain what they learned using the Foundation for Critical Thinking's "Elements of Thought"... ...and then evaluate their understanding using the Foundation's "Intellectual Standards." Then they assigned themselves a grade for the… Continue reading Critical Thinking – Is there an app for that?
Wondering how you can get kids to build critical thinking skills, but not sure how to do it? I have one simple answer for you: Op-Eds! Critical thinking is the process by which we analyze and evaluate our own and others' ideas. It involves breaking our thinking up into its component parts -- concepts, information,… Continue reading The only critical thinking assignment you’ll ever need!