Tagged “Critical Thinking”

Jason Flom

Winning Rap of Science Genius 2013

 

 

Connecting learners with curricular content so they take ownership of it and make it their own necessitates that design and delivery of learning experiences meets two requirements.

  1. It must be meaningful to learners.
  2. It must make sense to learners.

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Start Empathy

Facilitating Leadership

Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

Amy Potsou and Elizabeth Stickley have a unique approach to educating students. As 3rd grade and 1st grade teachers at North Glendale Elementary School in Kirkwood, Missouri, they strive to help children "walk in the shoes of others, even if they are of a different background," and "assist others because it's the right thing to do,” not because there's a reward. According to Potsou and Stickley, these are the characteristics of a leader—yet these skills are difficult to teach.

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Klea Scharberg

When Students Own the “Why”

This clip presents several ways teachers have structured learning around big ideas and conceptual patterns so that students can connect to a compelling "why," or reason for doing something. Students design the criteria for assignments and take roles and responsibilities within each assignment to see it to its completion. Students or teachers can identify a real-world problem to work on, and technology can provide new avenues for students to collaborate and express their thinking. Learn more with ASCD Express.

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Kavita Singh

Exciting New Perspectives on the Scientific Method in Interdisciplinary Learning

There has been some progress in the last few years for interdisciplinary studies. It's a trend still in its infancy, but it is beginning to catch on due to great successes from early adopters. Schools are challenging their students with problems requiring learning from traditionally disparate subjects. What will be the next technology in education design to use the best methods of learning in siloed core subjects and apply those methods to other subjects? The first, and most obvious example, will be the use of the scientific method in traditionally nonscience classes.

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Fred Zilian

The “BIG IDEAS BOX”

When teaching history, it is very easy to get caught up and lost in all the details of a particular lesson. I am especially drawn to political, diplomatic, and military history and have found myself spending far too much time in my Western Civilization courses on the fine points of the diplomatic maneuverings of the Congress of Vienna or the tactical skill of Hannibal during the Second Punic War. So, to ensure that my students have the big picture, I do the following:

  1. At the outset of the course, I ensure that they understand the critical overarching themes and questions of the course.
  2. At the start of each lesson, I indicate which of these are present in the day's lesson.
  3. And finally, I require each student to have a "BIG IDEAS BOX."

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Rich McKinney

Moving Beyond the Textbook: Closing the Book on the Textbook-Dependent Classroom

A few weeks ago I was watching my daughters as they were working through drills during their weekly tennis lessons. I observed a group of elementary kids dutifully take their places, hit the ball, and then move to the next station. It was simple, efficient, and monotonous. Though they were learning the basics of tennis, the kids simply weren't having much fun. Their coach must have noticed because he immediately changed pace and led all the kids to an adjoining field next to the courts for a lively game of freeze tag. All the kids were laughing and loving it, though I found that it bore little resemblance to anything even remotely related to tennis. I was wrong. What looked to me to be free play was really the development of skills such as acceleration, lateral speed, and footwork. This coach recognized that sometimes you can leave the court and have fun while accomplishing goals.

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Andrew Miller

21st Century Skills and the Common Core Standards

Twenty-first century skills are quickly becoming taught and assessed in schools across the United States. Whether through explicit instruction or models like project-based learning, educators are realizing that lower-level content comprehension is not enough. The Whole Child Initiative calls for tenets that rely on these skills. Educators create a safe environment through collaboration. Critical thinking creates rigor and challenge. Communication can create engagement with the community. When we pair 21st century skills with content, we can create powerful and meaningful learning. The Common Core State Standards explicitly call for these skills, so through uncovering the 3 Cs in the Common Core standards, we can see how educators must teach and assess them.

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Peter DeWitt

There Is No Debating the Six Shifts

In education we debate many issues. Sometimes it feels as though we debate just to debate. Whether it's the way we teach reading, writing, or math or the harmful effects of high-stakes testing, many issues create an ongoing dialogue in education. It should be that way only as long as it doesn't prevent us from ever moving forward. As we debate back and forth, a generation of students are waiting for us to get our acts together.

We have all had moments when we just wanted to be told what to do ... and moments when we wanted to be left to make our own decisions. Sometimes we want the opposite of what is being asked of us. As we continue down the road of more mandates and accountability than we have ever seen, we cannot lose touch, no matter how hard it may be, with our jobs to teach the whole child.

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Paula Mirk

The Ethical Core of Common Core

Both the whole child approach and the Common Core State Standards "compel school instructional staff to develop and deliver effective, engaging instruction reflective of individual student needs and strengths." That's what we all want for our students, and we should expect nothing less. But the standards are undergirded by an "ethical core," and all educators should keep in mind that our ultimate purpose in teaching—indeed in creating schools in the first place—remains preparing the next generation to contribute to and improve our society. The Common Core State Standards are one dimension of reaching the goal of healthy students ready to be competent, thoughtful, and informed citizens.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in 2012

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2012.

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