Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Cultivating Thinking in the Disciplines

Knowledge does not fall from the sky. Someone discovers it! There are complex processes that are essential to the functioning of each discipline -- and they take years to cultivate! How do we help students to build their understanding and use of these processes? Dr. Lois Lanning's Structure of Process, the complement to Dr. Erickson's… Continue reading Cultivating Thinking in the Disciplines

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Throwback Thursday: Discipline Their Minds

Imagine the following classroom assignment: Explain the causes and impacts of the Great Influenza outbreak of 1918 Photo credit:http://www.jhsph.edu/sebin/f/l/bluedeath1.jpg If we want to save the world, we need to learn to prevent (or at least very effectively treat) pandemics like this, right? We can imagine that studying the causes and effects of the Great Influenza… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Discipline Their Minds

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Try this: Behave like a disciplinarian

What subject(s) do you teach? When was that last time you explored an unknown or created something new in that field? Try it out and then write out the steps you took and the questions you asked yourself along the way. Then model it, thinking aloud in front of your students! Ideas: Mathematics = Solve a… Continue reading Try this: Behave like a disciplinarian

Stage 5: Students as World Changers

Trending: Catalytic Philanthropy

"I have been sharing my idea of catalytic philanthropy for a while now." - Bill Gates   Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and many other famous (and wealthy!) people are committed to solving the world's biggest problems. Gates explains the term in Wired Magazine: "You invest for big returns...If you want to have a big impact,… Continue reading Trending: Catalytic Philanthropy

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Try this: Model expert thinking

How many times have you stood in front of the class with an interesting situation or dilemma and narrated your thoughts aloud for your students so they can hear how you reason through it? If we just "tell" students what experts have "figured out", it doesn't help the students move in the direction of expert… Continue reading Try this: Model expert thinking

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Try this: Invite people in

This week as we turn our focus to disciplinary thinking, we ask ourselves, How do we get kids to think like experts in each respective field? How can students think like mathematicians in math class and literary critics in English class? How can they behave as scientists and historians and artists do in the real… Continue reading Try this: Invite people in

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

What is the purpose of academic subjects?

  "The best way to understand circles is to reinvent the wheel."   Nicholas Negroponte, Founder MIT Media Lab   My thinking about the purpose of academic subjects has evolved quite a bit over the last decade. Even the use of the word "disciplines" instead of "subjects" demonstrates how my thinking has changed. What I used… Continue reading What is the purpose of academic subjects?

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Scientific Thinking 101

The natural sciences have traditionally come the closest to disciplinary thinking by teaching the scientific method and ensuring there are labs in most schools where at least a few times a year the students are able to behave like scientists. There are, however, two common pitfalls that derail scientific thinking: 1) Many teachers didactically teach… Continue reading Scientific Thinking 101

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Stage 4: Discipline their minds

Imagine the following classroom assignment: Explain the causes and impacts of the Great Influenza outbreak of 1918 If we want to save the world, we need to learn to prevent (or at least very effectively treat) pandemics like this, right? We can imagine that studying the causes and effects of the Great Influenza might teach… Continue reading Stage 4: Discipline their minds