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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

2 Looking Ahead Why are thinking and problem solving skills the core purpose of social studies? Why do you believe “presentation-style” teaching been used to develop students’ thinking skills? What are effective ways elementary teachers can encourage and develop students’ thinking skills? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

3 Can You – Explain three ways to teach students to think logically? Identify the functions of the mind that relate to critical thinking? Identify types of problem solving tasks? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

4 Do You – Know how to help students to understand and retain information? Understand the term “story map”? Know the functions of the mind? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

5 Focus Activity Think back about your education and life experiences. Can you recall an important decision you had to make in your life? How did you go about finding the ultimate solution? Share your decision making experiences and compare with classmates. Does your decision making process share common attributes with others? If so, what attributes? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

6 Thinking Skills What are the two kinds of learning? Rote learning? Constructivist learning? What does the term “thinking skills” refer to? What are a few principles a teacher could follow to enhance students’ retention of knowledge? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

7 Logical Thinking and Analyzing Skills What are ways elementary teachers can help students gain logical thinking and analyzing skills? Modeling Through discussion Through guided practice with feedback Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

8 Critical and Creative Thinking What is critical thinking? What is creative thinking? Why does creative thinking differ from most thought required in school? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

9 Problem Solving and Inquiry How can teachers utilize problem solving in the social studies curriculum? How does an inquiry teaching model work? What is the best way to create active problem solvers? What are some examples that teachers can use to promote problem solving in the classroom? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

10 Promoting Critical Thinking with Modules What are modules and how are they used? Develop definitional understanding of concepts Help students reach evaluation judgments Provide experiences that cause students to arrive at a commonly shared generalization as a way of thinking Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

11 Promoting Inquiry with Case Studies What is a case study approach and who might use it? Why? What are some basic procedures for preparing a case study? Identify the problem Tentatively identify a research procedure Select the appropriate example (or case) Develop detailed procedural plans Collect resources related to the case Organize the materials and data Plan activities Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

12 Incorporating Thinking and Learning Skills into Social Studies What skills are at the core of effective teaching? What is the major thrust of social studies? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

13 Looking Back The major goal of teaching is to help students become independent learners, therefore a real emphasis needs to be placed on students’ ability to think and solve problems. Obtaining, understanding, and retaining information are among the thinking skills that are important to social studies learning at the elementary level. Problem solving is the most essential thinking ability and is an important part of the inquiry process. Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

14 Extension It is almost spring break and you are finishing the third semester report cards. Your principal stops by your classroom to express his enjoyment of your problem solving based classroom activities. The Monday after spring break he would like you to share a new dynamic classroom activity with the superintendent, assistant principal, and a local reporter. You agree to the challenge, and say “I am excited for the opportunity, thank you.” Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

15 Extension Develop a new and innovative problem solving based classroom activity for the elementary grade level and topic of your choice. The activity should be in written form and utilize the lesson/activity format required by your school/district/university. Share your response with peers and/or instructor. Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

16 Self-Test 1. What are thinking skills? 2. What does the term schema mean and how does it relate to thinking? 3. What does the term critical thinking mean? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

17 Self-Test 4. What is meant by the expression “story map”? 5. List five thinking skills and describe a class activity for meeting each thinking skill. 6. Can you identify and describe types of problem solving tasks? Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013

18 Resources Boostrom, R. (2005). Thinking: The Foundation of Critical and Creative Learning in the Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press. Erickson, L. (2007). Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Kracl, C. (2012). Review or True? Using High-level Thinking Questions in Social Studies Instruction. The Social Studies, 103(2), 57 – 60. Sewell, A. M., Fuller, S., Murphy, R. C., & Funnell, B. H. (2002). Creative Problem Solving: A Means to Authentic and Purposeful Social Studies. The Social Studies, 93(4), 176 – 179. Essentials of Elementary Social Studies By Turner, Russell, Waters Copyright 2013


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