- Slides: 22
The Thinking Symposium Thinking About Our Work
Thinking about Thinking • Thinking involves discriminating between beliefs that rest upon tested evidence and those that do not
Thinking and Inquiry • Inquiry is suspension of beliefs (judgements) to make space for learning • Such suspense is likely to be painful
Reflection and Thinking • Reflective thinking requires us to overcome inertia that inclines us to accept suggestions at their face value. It demands a willingness to endure a condition of mental unrest and disturbance - Dewey • “Not done on Google” • “Not a retelling but going deeper”
Teaching Thinking • What is at the very heart of teaching that develops the capacity of students to think deeply, reflectively, critically, creatively and objectively? • How do we cultivate habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses or opinion; of developing in students a sincere and open minded preference for conclusions that are properly grounded?
Teaching Thinking • What vital behaviours are engrained in the practice of every powerfully effective teacher? • Teaching is NOT a fad – we are seeking the essence, the truth of it – the VITAL CORE
Beliefs and Thinking • Beliefs that impact on teaching – Beliefs about intelligence – Beliefs about learning – Beliefs about content areas – Beliefs about what knowledge is – Beliefs about purpose of school – Beliefs about our role as teacher • Which of my (our) beliefs are a constraint to student or my own thinking? How can constraints provoke innovative thinking?
Thinking Made Visible • Discourse and metacognition are vital behaviours…What would it be like (look like) to slow down and make room for discourse and metacognition? • When is the last time you had a good conversation with the back of someone’s head?
Thinking in the Curriculum • What if the goal was to teach students how to think and not to cover the curriculum? How would your teaching change? • What is our belief about curriculum – a tool or a rule?
Thinking Initiatives at the School
From the Thinking Symposium. . . • We came away excited about the value of academic discourse in the classroom, and committed to making it a significant part of our classroom communities • As we talked with each other, and with our principal, we decided to make this a school focus and an important component of our school improvement plan
Our first steps involved. . . • Sharing with our whole staff at our first staff meeting – the focus on “small steps” to gain progress toward our overall goals of valuing student talk, increasing student discourse and decreasing teacher-dominated classrooms • Used Lucy West clips and quotes from the symposium to affirm the value of discourse in our classrooms
September – December Focus • Explicit teaching of classroom conversation skills • “wait time” – honour thinking, slow down • Accept all answers, discuss/explore for further understanding • Create classroom talk walls (what does it look like/sound like)
Specific Inquiry Question for Grade 3 and 6 classrooms • Does engaging in frequent classroom discourse around our understanding of numbers improve our individual reasoning and communication?
Initial Plan • Grade 3 and 6 teachers collaborate around this goal • Use i. Pads to record partner conversations in math • Share these recordings as we consolidate lessons • Focus on how we use manipulatives • Use EQAO questions to provide information around student thinking, reasoning and communication
Renfrew County DSB’s BIP
One Small Step • See – Think – Wonder – What do you see? – What do you think about that? – What do you wonder? • Stop and Jot – Before I thought… – Now I am thinking…
One Small Step • Talk Moves – Ask students to explain the thinking behind their answers (whether they’re right or wrong) – Ask students to explain why they agree or disagree with a student answer – Asks students to comment or add on to a students response or idea – Use Wait Time –thinking takes time – Give time for students to struggle to articulate their thinking
EOSDN and Thinking What is EOSDN? Why a Thinking Symposium? An event or a continuum? Preparation – as a team decide on the focus of your work; pre-viewing/reading available • Attend as a team – Lucy West facilitation applying thinking to the work • Follow up opportunities • Spring “Going Deeper” • •
Within Teams Work on the development of SIMplementation.