Reflect on your learning habits and strategies. In what ways might have you been either nurturing or neglecting your own complex thinking processes?
There were times that I neglected nurturing my own thinking processes. I usually accept ideas passively. Our online study helped me nurture and develop my own thinking processes. As I read the study modules (learning theories from different theorists), answer discussion questions, read discussion post from my classmates, I have learned how to research and think on my own to process the things that I have read. I have also learned to compare and contrast different learning theories. Reading learning theories of different theorists made me also see that even theorists have different ideas and that they either support or contrast other theorists too. From our study materials, it was mentioned that we must not passively accept ideas and we should consider the following recurrent themes (Dewey) in critical thinking:
- Avoid jumping to conclusions – keeping an open mind until you have adequate evidence
- Examine assumptions – defining the problem
- Generate new ideas – brainstorming, writing down every idea that comes up without criticism
- Evaluate evidence – asking how an idea can be tested.
From our online activities, I have learned how to examine assumptions and evaluate evidence by reading my classmates discussions posts and by searching the internet for answers. I also nurture my complex thinking processes by sharing what I know to my co-teachers and by asking their ideas about it too. I also ask answers from them if there are questions that I encounter from my readings.
What strategies are you currently using to promote critical thinking among students (peers/ siblings, if not yet a teacher)? Are your current teaching methods effectively meeting / approaching critical thinking goals? How do you know that your students are utilizing critical thinking strategies?
With regards to using strategies to my kindergarten students to promote critical thinking, I use simple activities. I know that they are utilizing critical thinking strategies by observing them on how they respond to the activities. Examples are listed below:
- Asking them which object that represent the shape that we are studying. (I was smiling when a student gave me an example of a triangular shaped object. His answer was angry bird. I pause for a moment and then he said “the yellow one”. Indeed, the yellow angry bird has a triangle shape. Smart thinking).
- Using action songs where they show how an animal move. The song says “move like a monkey” and the children moves like a monkey.
- Playtime with clay and building blocks – creating something out of a clay/ building blocks
- Drawing activities – drawing the things that they have seen/ that they went to during holidays and presenting their drawing to the class.