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Thinking skills

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DTES2 discussion about the place of thinking skills, critical thinking and creative thinking in D&T

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Thinking skills

  1. 1. Types of thinking 0 List as many different types of thinking you can think of in 2 minutes based on your reading for this session
  2. 2. Two kinds of thinking 0 analytical 0 convergent 0 vertical 0 probability 0 judgement 0 focused 0 objective 0 left brain 0 verbal 0 Linear 0 critical 0 generative 0 divergent 0 lateral 0 possibility 0 suspended judgement 0 diffuse 0 subjective 0 right brain 0 visual 0 Associative 0 creative
  3. 3. What are thinking skills? 0 collecting information 0 sorting information 0 analysing information 0 drawing conclusions from the information 0 ‘brainstorming’ new ideas; creative thinking 0 problem solving 0 determining cause and effect 0 evaluating options; critical thinking 0 planning and setting goals 0 monitoring progress 0 decision making 0 reflecting on one’s own progress
  4. 4. Why are thinking skills important? ‘Should be an invitation to generalise, to extrapolate, to make a tentative leap, even to build a tentative theory. The leap from mere learning to using what one has learned in thinking is an essential step in the use of the mind. Indeed, plausible guessing, the use of the heuristic hunch, the best employment of necessarily insufficient evidence; these are the activities in which the child needs practice and guidance. They are among the great antidotes to passivity’ (Bruner 1996, p. 126 in McGregor, 2007, p.12)
  5. 5. Lateral Thinking Lateral thinking is a term coined by Edward de Bono. It first appeared in the title of his book The Use of Lateral Thinking (1971). De Bono defines lateral thinking as methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception. Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.
  6. 6. Lateral Thinking “Lateral thinking is closely related to creativity. But whereas creativity is too often only the description of a result, lateral thinking is the description of a process. One can only admire a result but one can learn to use a process… Lateral thinking is concerned with the generation of new ideas. There is a curious notion that new ideas have to do with technical innovation. This is a very minor aspect of the matter. New ideas are the stuff of change and progress in every field from science to art, from politics to personal happiness.” (De BONO 1971)
  7. 7. How can thinking skills be taught? 0 Specifically designed programmes (the skills method) 0 Embedded in the curriculum (the infusion method) 0 By chance (the traditional method) Examples from your reading?
  8. 8. The skills method “…the ways in which cognitive and social skills that pupils use, often unconsciously, in the process of learning, are deliberately emphasized. These programmes aim, in different ways to, make more explicit the thinking processes and skills needed for learning.” (McGregor 2007, p.100)
  9. 9. Examples 0Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment 0Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT): de Bono 0The Somerset Thinking Skills Course 0Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE) 0Philosophy for Children (Lipman & Fisher)
  10. 10. The infusion method “Swartz et al. (1998: 528) describe how `infusion' is the approach that teachers use when blending explicit instruction about thinking skills and processes with content instruction. It involves pedagogic approaches that enhance students' thinking and comprehension of the subject matter.” (McGregor 2007, p.125)
  11. 11. A possible framework McGuinness (1999) proposes that a general framework for teaching thinking should include: 0 making thinking skills explicit in the curriculum 0 adopting a coaching style to teach thinking 0 operating within a metacognitive perspective 0 developing collaborative learning in both face-to-face and computer-mediated learning 0 encouraging good thinking habits or general dispositions 0 generalising the framework beyond a narrow focus on special skills to encompass the whole curriculum and concepts of ‘thinking classrooms’ and ‘thinking schools’.
  12. 12. Creativity and intelligence ‘Creativity is also not confined to special activities such as, painting a picture, composing a poem, choreographing a dance or sculpting a figure. These activities require diligence and persistence as well as creativity. Scientists, technologists, business people, educators, in fact anyone can be creative in the things that they do. The innovation of new techniques, new products, new selling strategies, new approaches to preparing for examinations are all ways these people can be creative.’ McGregor 2007, p.170
  13. 13. Critical and creative thinking ‘By its very nature, critical thinking is concerned with critiquing something already in existence and creativity is concerned with generating something new, not previously available to critique.’ (McGregor 2007, p.172)
  14. 14. Creativity and problem solving ‘In problem solving situations learners may seesaw between critical and creative thinking, going back and forth in the generation of ideas, critical reflection of suggestions and subsequent refinement, modification or regeneration of further innovations until a suitable solution is reached.’ (McGregor 2007, p.173)
  15. 15. Defining thinking critically ‘Thinking critically is the mental act of reviewing, evaluating or appraising something (including a picture, play, information, evidence, or opinion) in an attempt to make judgements, inferences or meaning about that something in a rational, reasoned way.’ (McGregor 2007, p.209)
  16. 16. Critical and creative thinking ‘Skilful critical thinking may also require skills that could ‘Unwieldy be deemed more creative and may be referred to as critico-creative thinking, for expression’ example, generating criteria by which to judge something or refining, modifying or improving an idea.’ Fisher 2011, p.14) (McGregor 2007, p.209)
  17. 17. References 0 DE BONO, E., 1971. The use of lateral thinking. Harmondsworth: Harmondsworth : Penguin. 0MCGUINNESS, C., 1999. From thinking skills to thinking classrooms. 0 McGregor, Debra. 2007., Developing Thinking; Developing Learning. [online]. Open University Press. Available from:<http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=112953> 6 October 2013

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