As I continue this learning experience, reading through articles/discussion posts I find myself having more “A-HA” moments. It is such a powerful feeling to finally make the connection, put all of your knowledge together, and say to yourself, ‘Now that makes sense”.
One such experience occurred during our discussions about critical thinking and reading Critical Thinking in Every Domain of Knowledge and Belief. The discussion really prompted us to think about this ability. It ends up to be a really complicated skill since there are so many definitions. It can be perceived as a way to making connections, or analyzing and assessing thought, or thinking about our thinking (meta-cognition). The process involves constant wondering and questioning to get the most out of what you are learning. It is not a separate entity but, needs to infused into all experiences where “the thinker self-monitors and self-assesses” (2007). This lead to me my a-ha moment. Now I understand why we are doing the worked asked of us. We didn’t have to reflect, but to think critically. The questions and feedback Alex posted really helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what we were talking about and makes it more meaningful.
But, how can we teach this to other children in the classroom or how can we teach this to the students in the our online class? Questioning and utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy can promote the thinking but, there are more barriers to face. People’s own personality can get in the way of learning. You have to defeat egocentricity, self-delusion, sociocentricity, narrow-mindedness, habits, and fear/insecurities. It is very hard to get people to think/learn in a new way and it is not a comfortable experience. In Social Presence, it was shared establishing trust and a class community was essential is creating a community of learners. If the students trust you then they will take the huge leap forward into this new of way of thinking/learning. My experience as a student was that I was focused on my routines from the other class and interpreting feedback to what I was thinking Alex meant and it wasn’t the same. Then, we I began to trust Alex’s words and it became clear to me that she wanted to use to think deeper about the questions.
As I think back, I feel critical thinking was a term being overused and misused. It is mostly being used for thinking and not critical thinking. People don’t realize the depth critical thinking takes students and how to get them to that level of thinking. It is not a one day lesson but, a lifelong lesson that all teachers need to be part of to make it most effective.
My question is how do we get our students motivated to think critically when, students just want to get the right answer?
Oprah, Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/packages/aha-moments.html
Paul, R. (2007, July 23). Critical thinking in every domain of knowledge and belief. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-in-every-domain-of-knowledge-and-belief/698
Pickett, A. Social Presence. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDEE4C3AACF9C7390