Sunday, March 29, 2009

Embedding Thinking in an Inquiry Process

We should be well past creating thinking skill programmes or thinking tool boxes.  Thinking skills are an integral part of learning and need to be embedded in the learning process.  Although in the last blog entry the 'powerful learning model' looks simplistic it is far from it.  Sitting behind the model is a selection of thinking skills based on 'solo's taxonomy' of thinking.  The model was designed to serve the needs of our learners ' to know how to use a learning process when they have a question they want to answer, something to investigate or a problem to solve'.  Secondly it was designed as a model of effective pedagogy to give teachers clarity about how learning can be designed for students at varying levels of sophistication.  At the 'get it' stage one is involved in observing or describing, important yet quite low level thinking tasks.  through to 'use it' being of a greater level of sophistication with students having to justify or create.  The model can be used in a multiple week long inquiry or simply a 40 minute numeracy lesson with a group of students.  Understanding where you are teaching and being able to justify why is characteristic of a teacher who as Hattie would put it 'activates learning'.
Developing students ability to think in a wide range of ways and various complexities is a key 21st century disposition.  As Costa has stated 'there are no easy answers to future problems'  We need our learners to think and to think well with purpose.

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