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How We Think: John Dewey on the Art of Reflection and Fruitful Curiosity in an Age of Instant Opinions and Information Overload

How We Think: John Dewey on the Art of Reflection and Fruitful Curiosity in an Age of Instant Opinions and Information Overload
by Maria Popova “To maintain the state of doubt and to carry on systematic and protracted inquiry — these are the essentials of thinking.” Decades before Carl Sagan published his now-legendary Baloney Detection Kit for critical thinking, the great philosopher, psychologist, and education reformer John Dewey penned the definitive treatise on the subject — a subject all the more urgently relevant today, in our age of snap judgments and instant opinions. In his 1910 masterwork How We Think (free download; public library), Dewey examines what separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well, what it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information. Dewey begins with the foundation of reflective thought, the defining quality of the fruitful, creative mind: This is where the art of critical thinking becomes crucial.

Related:  Higher Order Thinking/Questioning/Growth MindsetCritical ThinkingCritical Thinking

38 Question Starters based on Bloom’s Taxonomy - Curriculet Curriculet is free for teachers and students. Get started here. This is the 2nd post in a series on how to write better curriculets (and literacy curriculum). Our first post can be found here. Question The Answers ~ The Importance of Critical Thinking It strikes me that this is an era of pressing choices – personal and collective. Simplistic, lazy, rote thinking cannot address the complexities we face. We’re caught up in old, polarized, dualistic thinking that is not only an impediment to our growth – but regressive and potentially dangerous. How do we make complex decisions in the face of such pressure? What tools do we need to create mindsets that can address the intricacies of problems we face that were unimaginable a generation ago?

Standards of Critical Thinking What is critical thinking? According to my favorite critical thinking text , it is This involves identifying and analyzing arguments and truth claims, discovering and overcoming prejudices and biases , developing your own reasons and arguments in favor of what you believe, considering objections to your beliefs, and making rational choices about what to do based on your beliefs. is an important standard of critical thought. Clarity of communication is one aspect of this.We must be clear in how we communicate our thoughts, beliefs, and reasons for those beliefs. Careful attention to language is essential here. For example, when we talk about morality , one person may have in mind the conventional morality of a particular community, while another may be thinking of certain transcultural standards of morality.

Imagination Institute Awards Nearly $3 Million to Advance the Science of Imagination - Beautiful Minds - Scientific American Blog Network Imagination has many different components: idea generation, mental imagery, mental simulation, future thinking, pretend play, personal meaning-making, episodic memory, perspective taking, empathy, narrative generation, and narrative understanding. Unfortunately, we spend so much time on standardized testing and measuring the ability to learn what is, we don’t track how much we’re developing the key competencies that enable us to imagine what could be. This has real implications for human innovation and creativity, as well as social and emotional well-being, peace and compassion. The latest research suggests that the ability to transport your mind into the mind of others draws on the same mental machinery that it takes to transport your own mind into the future.

Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century One of the take aways from the Curriculum Mapping Institute this past week was that it brought an upgrade to THE trusted KWL (Know, What to Know and Learned) Chart to the forefront. It seems a no brainer…one of those things… “I should have thought about it”… So what is this upgrade all about? An “H” snuck into the Acronym! What does this “H” stand for”? How to Become an Outstanding Critical Thinker mind map Problem Solving Skills Search our Knowledge Base of hundreds of Self-Growth mind maps and resourcesClick to Search How to Think & Learn When I applied for my faculty job at the MIT Media Lab, I had to write a teaching statement. One of the things I proposed was to teach a class called “How to Think,” which would focus on how to be creative, thoughtful, and powerful in a world where problems are extremely complex, targets are continuously moving, and our brains often seem like nodes of enormous networks that constantly reconfigure. In the process of thinking about this, I composed 10 rules, which I sometimes share with students.

Working Memory and Fluid Reasoning: Same or Different? - Beautiful Minds - Scientific American Blog Network In 1990, researchers Patrick Kyllonen and Raymond Christal found a striking correlation. They gave large groups of American Air Force recruits various tests of working memory, in which participants performed simple operations on a single letter. For instance, in the "alphabet recoding" task, the computer briefly displayed three letters: H, N, CFollowed by an instruction, such as:Add 4In which the answer would be:L, R, G 249 Bloom's Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking Bloom’s Taxonomy’s verbs–also know as power verbs or thinking verbs–are extraordinarily powerful instructional planning tools. In fact, next to the concept of backwards-design and power standards, they are likely the most useful tool a teacher-as-learning-designer has access to. Why?

Student Publication: Critical Thinking and Reflection Slide Show “Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions.” – Adrienne Rich Students find more opportunities to thrive when offered more ways to reflect on their learning, and more ways to provide evidence of their learning. Many students (and instructors) may be steeped in the world of The Academic Essay, but there are many more ways for students to explore their discipline and demonstrate their scholarship–and many more ways for you, the instructor, to offer varied, interesting and useful assignments. Many forms of Alternative Scholarship can be found on the iTeachU site

Strategy List: 35 Dimensions of Critical Thought S-1 Thinking Independently Principle: Critical thinking is independent thinking, thinking for oneself. Many of our beliefs are acquired at an early age, when we have a strong tendency to form beliefs for irrational reasons (because we want to believe, because we are praised or rewarded for believing). Critical thinkers use critical skills and insights to reveal and reject beliefs that are irrational. In forming new beliefs, critical thinkers do not passively accept the beliefs of others; rather, they try to figure things out for themselves, reject unjustified authorities, and recognize the contributions of genuine authorities.

Scatterbrained People Are Basically Geniuses Another idea? Your big brain just got even bigger. There's a lot of truth to the stereotype of the absent-minded professor. You know, the scatterbrained academic who can't find his glasses (they're usually on top of his head). Or the creative type, who's so busy dreaming up new ideas that she misses her stop entirely on the subway. It turns out that someone who's disorganized, forgetful, and seemingly lacking in the concentration department is actually a genius.