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Teaching Critical Thinking through Active Learning Strategies Maha Bali, Senior Instructional Technologist Dr. Aziza Ellozy, Director The American University.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Critical Thinking through Active Learning Strategies Maha Bali, Senior Instructional Technologist Dr. Aziza Ellozy, Director The American University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Critical Thinking through Active Learning Strategies Maha Bali, Senior Instructional Technologist Dr. Aziza Ellozy, Director The American University in Cairo

2 Objectives The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with an overview of how to explicitly teach critical thinking in the classroom using active learning strategies  We will develop a working definition of critical thinking  We will model several strategies for teaching critical thinking skills  We will discuss approaches for assessing critical thinking

3 Interactive Exercise I: Think- Pair-Share: 10 minutes Write your own definition of Critical Thinking Write down one of the recent assignments you gave your students and explicitly name one or two CT skill (s) you wanted to promote and how you did it. Pair up with one of the other participants, share and compare your notes

4 General definition of Critical Thinking Difficult to define because it differs in relation to context and materials to which it is applied. "Interpreting, analyzing or evaluating information, arguments or experiences with a set of reflective attitudes, skills, and abilities to guide our thoughts, beliefs and actions." (Walsh and Paul)

5 More general definitions of Critical Thinking Please refer to handout

6 Examples of Critical Thinking Skills Please refer to handout

7 Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills A. Explicitly teaching a specific skill or skills

8 Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills Case Study: Art Forgery?  Course: “Scientific Thinking”  In-class group exercise  Context: Uncertainty in Science

9 Untitled, Paul Cezanne? (circa 1880)

10 Case highlights Friend tells him: “It’s risky to keep buying these paintings from these shady dealers”. Collins, billionaire, wealthy art collector. Keenly interested in finding undiscovered artwork. Discovered a Van Gogh 1992 Untitled, Paul Cezanne? (circa 1880) Unearths what appears to be a Cezanne. Will donate it to Metropolitan Museum Has purchased it from dealer known for passing counterfeits (unknowingly he claims)

11 Case highlights Museum curator needs to make decision. Will be fired if it turns out to be fake. Brings in consultants Art historian: ”I will stake my reputation that this is a previously unknown Cezanne, probably painted in the late 1880’s”. “Under low magnification in the microscope, fine structure of brushwork is indistinguishable from other paintings of his…”

12 Case highlights Scientists’ Findings A. UV spectrum shows substantial absorption of a polyene (a substance present in oil paint material). Polyenes should oxidize over time causing absorption to decrease. This suggests painting is not likely to be 100 years old. BUT, polyenes could also be contaminants caused by soot, cigarette smoke…etc

13 Case highlights Scientists’ Findings B. IR spectroscopy: might not be a Cezanne  Analysis of yellow areas shows indirectly they could be cadmium based (a mix of cadmium sulfide and barium sulfate) This mix not widely used before 1927. C. dead by then.  There is an indication of an underdrawing, probably charcoal. Cezanne known not to have any underdrawings. Not likely to be a Cezanne  Binder is an animal glue binder. This binder widely used in late 19 th century till 1940’s.

14 Case highlights Scientists’ Findings C. X-ray Fluorescence  Analysis of pigments shows no cadmium or barium. Other elements present confirm pigments widely used before and during C. life span. D. UV Fluorescence  Orange in rooftop and dark green in tree show brighter fluorescence than rest of painting. Their emission spectra are very similar to those found in the Brooklyn MOA’ Cezanne in the same visual elements. Blue, yellow and green samples =

15 Case highlights Scientists’ Findings D. UV Fluorescence (cont’d)  “…strong support that the pigments were made in the same studio and even by the same artist because of the variability in hand ground- ground pigments.”  “No evidence from fluorescence for polyene emission,…even though fluorescence is more sensitive than UV absorption” !!!

16 Interactive exercise: Identify CT skills Refer to your handout Identify which CT skills are promoted in this exercise

17 Teaching Critical Thinking

18 A. Some Basics Please refer to handout

19 B. Teaching a broad critical thinking strategy Please refer to your handout Analyzing an issue Questioning strategy

20 C. Teaching how to read critically Please refer to your handout

21 Active learning* Less emphasis is placed on transmitting information and more on developing students' higher order thinking skills Greater emphasis is placed on students' exploration of attitudes and values *E.C. Bonwell and J. A. Eison

22 Active Learning for Promoting Critical Thinking Skills Please refer to your handout

23 Types of Activities Interaction with peers Self-assessment Using a variety of strategies

24 Directed Paraphrasing In plain language and in less than five minutes, paraphrase what you know about Bird Flu for a high official in the Ministry of Agriculture. Your aim is to convince him to spend time and money in vaccinating healthy domestic birds.

25 Assessing Critical Thinking Questions/activities that encourage critical thinking  Bloom’s taxonomy (refer to handout)  Use the set of skills as a guide Share rubrics (assessment criteria) with your students

26 Credits Robert H. Ennis. "A Taxonomy of Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities" in Teaching Thinking Skills: Theory and Practice; eds. Joan Boykoff Baron and Robert J. Sternberg. Freeman, 1987.

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