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. Report Finds ‘Deeper Learning’ Model Improves Outcomes for All Students The conversation about what kids need to know and to be able to do by the end of high school has gradually shifted over the past several years to emphasize not just rigorous content goals, but also less tangible skills, such as creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. That shift has brought schools that are practicing “deeper learning” into focus. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a big supporter of this work, defining deeper learning as a model that focuses on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, academic mindsets and learning how to learn, all through rigorous content.
New Evidence: Deeper Learning Improves Student Outcomes When educators learn about the work of Envision Schools and the work of our partner schools in the Deeper Learning Network, they almost always ask for evidence or data to show that this approach is better than traditional approaches to learning. We can say that deeper learning achieves better student outcomes, and we all have data to share that we have collected and analyzed ourselves. Our colleagues are encouraged and then they ask if there are any independent studies that demonstrate the success of our model. Until recently, we've simply had to shrug and say no. (Going forward -- no more shrugging!)
4 Great Web-Based Mindmapping Tools To Enhance Your Creativity Having trouble organizing all of your ideas? Sounds like what you need is a mindmapping tool. Mindmaps are a wonderful resource for brainstorming, planning, and managing ideas in a way that increases your productivity and enhances your creativity. But what if you want to create a mindmap without pen or paper? Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to read and evaluate its level of accuracy, reliability and bias. When we recently assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, the results definitely got our attention. Unfortunately, over 70 percent of their responses suggested that: Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility. They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective.
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. However, where do you start? The Power of "I Don't Know" The role of teaching has evolved. No longer are we the carriers of knowledge, giving it to students and assessing if they can repeat facts successfully. We are, instead, tasked with teaching students how to find answers themselves. And it all starts with a simple three-word phrase: I don't know. Adopting a comfortable "I don't know" attitude is far more accurate for what we need to do as educators then pretending we know it all.
7 Tenets of Creative Thinking In school, we learn about geniuses and their ideas, but how did they get those ideas? What are the mental processes, attitudes, work habits, behaviors, and beliefs that enable creative geniuses to view the same things as the rest of us, yet see something different? The following are seven principles that I've learned during my lifetime of work in the field of creative thinking -- things that I wish I'd been taught as a student. Ten Good Online Tools for Creating Mind Maps Creating mind maps or webs is one of my favorite ways to organize ideas and information. I've often had my students create mind maps as an exercise in making visual connections between important concepts, events, and people in a unit of study. The following free tools offer good options for creating mind maps online.
Genres in Academic Writing: Reflective writing The purpose of reflective writing is to help you learn from a particular practical experience. It will help you to make connections between what you are taught in theory and what you need to do in practice. You reflect so that you can learn. In reflective writing, you are trying to write down some of the thinking that you have been through while carrying out a particular practical activity, such as writing an essay, teaching a class or selling a product. Through reflection, you should be able to make sense of what you did and why and perhaps help yourself to do it better next time.
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 Student Sites:
Using Webb's Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor The word "rigor" is hard to avoid today, and it provokes strong reactions from educators. Policymakers tout its importance. Publishers promote it as a feature of their materials. But some teachers share the view of Joanne Yatvin, past president of the National Council for Teachers of English. To them, rigor simply means more work, harder books, and longer school days. 6 Steps to Help Students Find Order in Their Thinking Like magic, the fish turn into birds and then back into fish. M.C. Escher's tessellations have a way of grabbing your attention and forcing your mind to make sense of the impossible figures on the paper. The Merriam dictionary describes tessellations as, "a covering of an infinite geometric plane without gaps or overlaps by congruent plane figures of one type or a few types." A geometry book I have on hand describes tessellations as geometric forms that make use of all available foreground and background space in two dimensions by repeating one or more different shapes in predictable patterns. To tessellate a single shape it must be able to exactly surround a point, or in other words, the sum of the angles around each point in a tessellation must be 360.
The 10 Stages of the Creative Process The Hunch Any project starts with a hunch, and you have to act on it. It’s a total risk because you’re just about to jump off a cliff, and you have to go for it if you believe in it.