Does Thinking Hurt Their Heads?
I was recently introduced to Thinking at Every Desk by Dr. Derek Cabrera and Dr. Laura Colosi. When I say, recently…I mean REALLY recently. You know…as in the day before yesterday. The theory behind this movement is that we MUST teach thinking skills in classrooms across America in addition to the content curriculum in order to prepare students for higher learning, the work force, and the world. It seems like that should be obvious.
I don’t think that teachers disagree. I don’t think that teachers are sitting at their kitchen tables planning instruction trying to make sure that they don’t include thinking. I don’t think that teachers are hoping to produce students that are not ready for the next level. I think teachers agree that there is a problem. I think teachers are trying to fix the problem. I think most teachers don’t know HOW to fix the problem.
According to the video that I watched there are four thinking skills that will help us develop the six most important types of thinking. If we can teach students to recognize Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives then they will be better able to think critically, creatively, scientifically, emotionally, across disciplines, and systematically. If we can teach these four skills on a daily basis then we can really make a difference. In the video Dr. Cabrera was saying that students are excellent at “doing school” but, that when it comes to solving real-life, open ended questions they simply didn’t know how to proceed. Here is the video if you would like to watch for yourself.
I’ve had great intentions. I thought I was teaching them how to THINK. But, perhaps I was just teaching them to KNOW. Perhaps I was teaching them the conclusions that I have drawn about Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives instead of teaching them how to recognize them for themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I plan on THINKING about this some more. My first step will be to get my hands on the book. I do feel a sense of relief that I am already flipping my math class….because I think the two are a natural fit.