Week 7

Hey again guys lol,

Today I read through chapter 9 to find ways to help my students become critical thinkers.  My background knowledge going into this is to question students, facilitate the conversations students to use their higher order thinking skills.  Chapter 9 touched on those things a lot in the section on Inquiry learning, which is when “the teacher (or sometimes fellow students) pose thoughtful questions intended to stimulate discussion and investigation by students,” (Seifert, 2015).  I like to do this to check for understanding, and also to give students the chance to learn from one another.

I believe that there are things we can do to make our lessons less lecture-y, things we actually have to do to get our students thinking critically.  First, I try not to look at the powerpoint for any given lesson for more than a few seconds unless I’m writing on it. Boredom to me is the enemy of learning and critical thinking, and death by powerpoint is REAL… okay I can’t back that up.  

Chapter 9 has a little section on “Coaxing students to reframe,” a problem, and in order to coax anybody you have to be a little sneaky! I like to think of teaching as sneaky profession, slipping the content into the students minds using whatever we pick up along the way in our imaginary toolboxes.  These ways can include differentiating the instruction and assessments until we know how each student learns/performs best, and making sure our the instruction isn’t too difficult (you know, Vygotsky’s ZPD).

The critical thinking section also notes the importance of teaching students to make annotations as they read which we try to teach students in my student teaching placement.  The author mentions a study where a researcher found out how critical thinking can be stimulated by annotation, “writing questions and comments in the margins of the article (Liu, 2006),” (Seifert, 2015).  In the classroom I am in for my fieldwork, we have a “S.U.N.” system in place to help students practice annotating.  The “S” stands for scan, which is the student’s first read through, I have students read the questions prior to scanning.  The “U” stands for underline, that is when students reading through the text again and underline what they believe are the most important facts.  The students then number their details (the “N”.) in order to complete their short answer problems which call for supporting details. Inquiry learning and teaching students to annotate may are not the only ways to promote critical thinking.  If anyone wants to add what they think is the number way to promote critical thinking please do!

Wanted to end this post with a question to think about, and a quote from a legend:

  • What should a teacher tackle first, student engagement or student disengagement?

ED 631 - Educational Psychology- Spring 2018

ED 631 - Educational Psychology- Spring 2018

Here is our online home for ED 631 for Spring 2018.

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