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1 “Will this Thinking be on the Test? Using Critical Thinking to Engage Students in Thinking Deeply in Your Discipline” Dine and Discover Series Delphi.

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Presentation on theme: "1 “Will this Thinking be on the Test? Using Critical Thinking to Engage Students in Thinking Deeply in Your Discipline” Dine and Discover Series Delphi."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 “Will this Thinking be on the Test? Using Critical Thinking to Engage Students in Thinking Deeply in Your Discipline” Dine and Discover Series Delphi Center for Teaching and learning Patricia Payette, PhD Executive Director, i2a Associate Director, Delphi Center 1 Please fill out the True-False worksheet while waiting for session to start!

2 2 Session Objectives Explore concepts and definitions of critical thinking Examine and articulate the fundamental concepts and central questions that “live inside” your courses and assignments, but often seem elusive to students Revise or revisit your teaching activities to more effectively engage students in original inquiry, and to think critically 2

3 Focused Listing: What is critical thinking? Think of a specific course that you teach, or a specific learning context in which you teach and/or mentor students to think critically. Describe in a short list the changes in students’ mindset (or “mental models”) you want to see in them at the end of your time with them in the classroom, lab, etc. (e.g. ask relevant questions). Page 2 of your worksheet packet 3

4 Let’s share our “focused listing” regarding the changes in students’ thinking, or thinking abilities, we want to see our students achieve. 4 Focused Listing: What is critical thinking?

5 For your Teaching Toolbox: Focused Listing Focuses student attention on a single important term, concept, name, idea from a class session and asks them to list several ideas Helps students recall the most important points related to a topic 5

6 Helps faculty assess what students retain about a concept OR unearth assumptions or preconceptions students bring to the class Use in groups; or as individual prompt to help students recall information ; or as a prompt class discussion or review for an exam It is a “low stakes” way to assess students’ thinking 6 Question: How could you use “Focused Listing” to engage students? For your Teaching Toolbox: Focused Listing

7 a guide to belief and action. that results in the intellectually disciplined process Critical thinking is (Scriven and Paul, 2003) Understanding Concepts Appreciation Decisions Synthesize Application One definition of critical thinking 7

8 Ideas to Action: The Basics  Ideas to Action (i2a): Using Critical Thinking to Foster Student Learning and Community Engagement is our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  Part of our accreditation report to SACS-COC to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to student learning  Our 10-year initiative we created to renew our focus on critical thinking and community engagement and the undergraduate experience. 8

9 i2a: connecting classroom, campus and community Sharpen our existing focus on building critical thinking skills in the general education program… …..continuing through undergraduate major courses with an emphasis on applying and refining those skills… …resulting in a culminating experience, such as a senior thesis, research, service learning project, internship, or capstone project that fosters engagement 9

10 10 For more information on i2a: Home Page: Faculty Exemplars: Faculty Speak Video: Assessment 10

11 11 Making critical thinking visible: 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 needs be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences  Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking, 2008, page 2 11

12 How do you make critical thinking “visible”? Choose one critical thinking skill/behavior from the list of the “well-cultivated” critical thinker that you teach (or mentor) students to do well. Paraphrase it in your own words and elaborate on that behavior as it relates to a specific teaching context. “In other words…” Give an example of how you teach this skill or an assignment that helps students master this skill. “For example….” Try to describe the teaching/learning dynamic in terms of a metaphor, an illustration, a concept, or a diagram. “It’s like…” 12 Page 3 of your worksheet packet

13 For your teaching tool box: SEE-I S S : State it E E : Elaborate E E : Exemplify I I : Illustrate 13

14 Why use SEE-I? Using a SEE-I prompt requires you to clarify your thinking about an idea, concept or problem See page 44 in “Aspiring Thinker’s” Guide Communicating about your ideas or thinking using the SEE-I can be a tool for checking the accuracy of your thinking 14

15 Gerald Nosich on the SEE-I “If you can accurately S,E,E, then I a concept or principle in a course, it means you almost certainly have a good grasp of it, that you understand it to a much greater degree than if you are merely able to state it.” 15 Nosich, G. “Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum.” (2009). p. 35.

16 When to use a SEE-I As a prompt for courses or other learning contexts when teaching a new concept or when checking for understanding As a prompt for going deeper during a discussion: “Can you elaborate on that?” “Does someone have an example of this?” As a homework assignment /exam review/exam question Other? 16

17 Examples of SEE-I in action Dr. Lynn Boyd College of Business 17 Question: When could you use the SEE-I to prompt your students’ critical thinking about a concept, idea, or topic in your course? Page 4 of your worksheet packet

18 Teaching Toolbox: Fundamental and Powerful (F&P) Concepts explain or help us think about a huge body of questions, problems, information, and situations. are attached to a course theme are to be contrasted with individual bits of information, or with less general concepts. reflect the primary and essential thinking trait(s) you want students to achieve at the end of an assignment/course. 18 Bottom Line: What you are aiming for is to make those f&p concepts part of the way students think.

19 Faculty Examples of F&P Concepts English: Texts construct culture; cultures are complex sites of contest. Finance: Almost all decisions that corporations make have to be made under conditions of uncertainty. Psychology: Human thought and behavior can be studied scientifically. Engineering analysis: Use the principles of mathematics and science to obtain analytical solutions to engineering problems. 19

20 F&P Concepts for ELFH 690: Internship in Postsecondary Education Higher Education Administration –(skills, attitudes, behaviors, concepts of the field) Career Fit –(goals, interests, abilities, values, experiences) Professionalism –(leadership, interacting with others, choices, expectations) 20

21 Fundamental and Powerful Concepts (worksheet, p. 3) 21 Try writing one or more f&p concepts from your field/discipline that are essential to a course you are teaching. Page 5 of your worksheet packet Remember that f&p concepts are used in your thinking about every important question or problem in the course….. … yet they also allow you to begin to think through questions that lie beyond the scope of the course… Question: how can you illuminate and revisit the f&p in your assignments and course activities?

22 Making F&P concepts take root: Promoting Deep Learning 22 “Deep learning is learning that takes root in our apparatus of understanding, in the embedded meanings that define us and that we use to define the world” Tagg (2003) Tagg, J. (2003). The learning paradigm college. Boston, MA: Anker. Deep knowledge

23 23 Helps students go beneath the rote memorization of an idea : to “think through” ideas and concepts Relies on making connections between ideas and information (“connecting the dots”) Applies ideas and concepts to “real life” Fosters the integration and synthesis of information with prior learning or knowledge Teaching Toolbox: Promoting Deep Learning


25 25 Teaching Toolbox: Thinking Through Important Ideas and Concepts See page 46 in “Aspiring Thinker’s” Guide Choose one F&P concept from your list of course concepts 1. State the meaning of the concept in one simple sentence (boil down its essence in everyday language) “X is….” or “In other words….” 2. State the significance of the idea or concept “This idea is important because…. 3. Give an example of the concept (as it applies to real life) “For example….” 4. Connect the concept or idea to other concepts in the subject “This concept is connected to the following ideas/concepts within the subject…” 5. Give examples for number 4. above “Some examples that show the relationship between this idea and other important ideas are….” Page 6 of your worksheet packet

26 Thinking Through Important Ideas: Why and When? 26 Allows you to help students move beyond memorization and “work with” new concepts Promote deep learning by focusing on Integration Synthesis “Real life” relevance

27 Central Course Question: 27 provides the structure through which everything else is understood and all components of the course are connected. serves to unify your vision of the course and the field. is an open-ended but specific question that is ripe for exploration from a number of angles and has no easy, central “answer.” functions like a “mission statement” for your course

28 Faculty Examples of Central Course Questions 28 English: In what ways and why did England change in the transition from medieval to early modern, and what was the role of texts in that change? Criminal Justice: How does reading, understanding, and critiquing scholarly research publications in the field of criminal justice system develop a consumerism for criminal justice research?

29 Central Course Questions and F&P Concepts 29 Central Course Questions from Finance: 1.What are the major sources of uncertainty in doing business at home and abroad? 2. How is the required reward affected by the level and sources of uncertainty? 3. What are the compounding and mitigating sources of uncertainty on the multinational level? 4. How do multinational enterprises adapt their activities to manage uncertainty on the multinational level? Almost all decisions that corporations make have to be made under conditions of uncertainty.

30 30 F&P Concept from Biology: An individual human's survival depends on homeostasis: the maintenance of relatively constant internal body conditions which are favorable for survival and function of many specialized cell types. Central Course Questions: How do the forms of human body structures support their function? How do the form and function of human body structures contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis? How can we monitor the function of such structures in order to 1) understand their response to challenges and 2) determine whether they are working well enough to maintain homeostasis? Central Course Questions and F&P Concepts

31 Teaching toolbox: your central course question 31 Try writing the central course question of one of your courses. Write four versions of it. Consider: Which one seems to capture the most central question of your course? Page 7 of your worksheet

32 Try this at home: Writing an answer to that question in a few paragraphs and consider how your course currently responds and reflects your answer. 32 Your central course question Question: How can you use your central course question to foster and illuminate the critical thinking you want your students to practice?

33 Core Concepts: teaching critical thinking 33 Hold students responsible for the thinking they do. Engage students in the thinking you want. Make explicit the thinking you want.

34 Let’s share 10 Insights Let’s generate 10 ideas, insights, strategies or new concepts you are taking away from today’s session. 34 Page 8 of your worksheet

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