We welcome a trend away from an era of anti-intellectualism where teachers "tell" students what they need to know or how they need to do something and then monitor their regurgitation or rote practice of the skill. There is a push to require students to explore concepts and processes on their own: to figure it… Continue reading Trending: Explore first, explain second
One of the most essential aspects of critical thinking is empathy, the ability to see things through another person's point of view. Authors of The Whole Brain Child provide guidance on how to teach children about considering other people's feelings. They advocate teaching young people about "mindsight", the ability to look inside your own mind… Continue reading What does teaching empathy look like?
Looking for a ready-to go classroom tool for critical thinking? Try the logic wheel. The wheel is made up of the 8 elements of thought from the Foundation for Critical Thinking and can be applied to just about anything to gain a deeper analysis. The questions it prompts can be questions that students begin to… Continue reading Try this: The Logic Wheel
Google is expected to release its latest tech advance to general audiences later this year: the wearable computer. It's basically a mini android computer mounted on an eyeglass frame, which allows the wearer to project a computer "screen" onto his or her field of vision. Glass users can ask for directions, translate a conversation in… Continue reading Trending: Google glass in class?
If you're like me, you may still be scrambling to find gifts for the holidays. While options abound, it's often difficult to give something meaningful or useful. This year, consider giving gifts that promote thinking. Here are a few options: GoldieBlox This company develops toys that encourage girls to become engineers. Its founders noticed that… Continue reading Gifts that encourage THINKING
We all want our students to be better thinkers, right? But do we practice what we hope to see in them? We agree with the Foundation for Critical Thinking's assertion that: "Humans typically create thought that is vague, fragmented, contradictory, egocentric, sociocentric and lacking in foundational insights. This is so because the natural state of… Continue reading Think about…egocentric tendencies
How can we be sure that students are actually thinking and not just parroting back what we have already taught them? This is much more difficult than most teachers realize. We often assume they are analyzing or evaluating when they are just repeating our analysis or someone else's evaluation. One way to guarantee genuine reasoning is… Continue reading Try this: “What if…?”
If you've been teaching for a while, you can probably predict the flaws in thinking that your students will have for each new concept or topic. How do we use this as a teaching tool? It can be difficult to cultivate the habit of examining our own thinking --- but a good first step is… Continue reading Try this: examine shoddy thinking
What’s the best mistake you ever made? Often we remind ourselves (and our students) that we can succeed despite failure, but how often do we think about failure as a key step on the path to achievement? That’s the idea behind failing forward. As we shift towards an economy founded on innovative thinking and… Continue reading Trending: Failing Forward
This morning as I sat down to prepare for my class, I realized that I had not thought about the problem of "mother robin teaching" in quite some time...and it was creeping back into my classroom unintentionally. For this Thursday's "think about," we consider the metaphor of the mother robin chewing up food to nurture… Continue reading Think about…mother robin teaching