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Critical Thinking: A Path to College and Career

Critical Thinking: A Path to College and Career

Related:  Critical ThinkingTeaching ResourcesEdutopia PBL Gateway

An Abbreviated Glossary of Critical Thinking Concepts and Terms critical thinking: Everybody thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or down-right prejudiced. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought through critical thinking must be systematically cultivated. A well-cultivated critical thinker: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be their assumptions, implications, and consequences; and communicates effectively with others figuring out solutions to complex problems. Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others Bringing Their A-Game: Humanities teacher Spencer Pforsich, digital arts/sound production teacher Margaret Noble, humanities teacher Leily Abbassi, and math/science teacher Marc Shulman make lessons come alive on the High Tech campuses in San Diego. Earlier this year, as I was listening to a presentation by an eleven-year-old community volunteer and blogger named Laura Stockman about the service projects she carries out in her hometown outside Buffalo, New York, an audience member asked where she got her ideas for her good work. Her response blew me away. "I ask my readers," she said. I doubt anyone in the room could have guessed that answer.

Analytical Thinking: Why You Need It and How to Get Better Analytical thinking skills are critical in the work place because they help you to gather information, articulate, visualize and solve complex problems. Even with comprehensive training, there will be many times where you will be put on the spot to think analytically and the right or wrong answer could make a difference with regard to your upward mobility within the company. You want your employees and especially your boss to trust that you will make the most well-informed and correct decisions. Some decisions can even make or break your career. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have well-developed analytical thinking skills. Practical PBL: The Ongoing Challenges of Assessment In recent years, most students in my project-based AP Government classes have indicated, in both class discussions and anonymously on surveys, that they prefer project-based learning to a more traditional classroom experience. They find PBL more fun and believe that it leads to deeper learning. However, two types of students often resist this model.

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

‘Get to know you’ questions I use this activity as a ‘get to know you’ with new classes and it can be adapted for any level. It can also serve as revision for question forms which I’ll come back to at the end. This idea originated from a development session I attended at IH ILC Brno and it has altered over time to become the activity below. ‘Get to know you’ I write the following on the right side of the board: Studies in Success: A Survey of Assessment Research Researchers found that authentic work, such as the architectural project completed by students in Eeva Reeder's geometry class, yielded higher test scores for students. Academic research points to the benefits -- and identifies ongoing challenges -- of implementing performance assessments in K-12 classrooms. Studies also identify the impact technology can have and is having on both classroom and large-scale assessments. Following are synopses of a sampling of studies on K-12 assessment. Authentic Work Yields Higher Test Scores

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