Teaching Critical Thinking in the Classroom
9 Practical Strategies
Get in the habit of asking “Is thinking visible here?” are thoughts being aired, justified, evaluated? Who is doing the thinking? Using no hands up and Pose Pause Pounce Bounce outlined by @teachertoolkit here is a good way of directing the thinking and adding your own contributions
Ask “Is the language of thinking being used here (A great overview is given by the ASCD here ) but key words are ; compare, analyse, predict, evaluate, speculate
Are your students asking questions? If not make them ideally use Socratic Questions R.W. Paul’s six types of Socratic questions are an interesting place to start:
1. Questions for clarification:
Why do you say that?
How does this relate to our discussion?
“Are you going to include diffusion in your mole balance equations?”
2. Questions that probe assumptions:
What could we assume instead?
How can you verify or disapprove that assumption?
“Why are neglecting radial diffusion and including only axial diffusion?”
3. Questions that probe reasons and evidence:
What would be an example?
What is….analogous to?
What do you think causes to happen…? Why:?
“Do you think that diffusion is responsible for the lower conversion?”
4. Questions about Viewpoints and Perspectives:
What would be an alternative?
Is there another way to look at it?
Would you explain why it is necessary or beneficial, and who benefits?
Why is ‘x’ the best?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of…?
How are…and …similar?
What is a counterargument for…?
“With all the bends in the pipe, from an industrial/practical standpoint, do you think diffusion will affect the conversion?”
5. Questions that probe implications and consequences:
What generalisations can you make?
What are the consequences of that assumption?
What are you implying?
How does…tie in with what we learned before?
“How would our results be affected if neglected diffusion?”
6. Questions about the question:
What was the point of this question?
Why do you think I asked this question?
How does…apply to everyday life?
“Why do you think diffusion is important?”
Use Thinking Routines. These are summarised from the Harvard Website on Visible Thinking here .
4. Think /Pair /Share – Individuals are given a situation and asked “What is going on here?” “What makes you say that?” Then they are asked to pair up and compare their views with their partner. They are then asked to agree and share with others their thoughts
5. Fairness routine – Given a situation or dilemma. “Who might be affected by this? Who might care? What might their viewpoint be ? (This can also be used in a historical context in taking the prevailing views of the time about slavery, witchcraft etc.)
6. Circle of Viewpoints – Students are asked to put across opposing viewpoints for a dilemma or a decision. The structure is I am thinking … topic … from the point of view of ……. . I think … (give view of that person with a justification) . A question that my view generates is ….. They then do the same for as many characters as appropriate to the task
7. Claim/support/question – A way of structuring ideas . What is your claim? What supports your claim? What may be questioned about your claim?
8. Reporters Notebook – A very powerful technique in this world of political spin this puts things in context for analysis
Identify the story/situation/dilemma
What are the facts? what are the events? ie what do we really know?
What are the thoughts/feelings of the parties?
What more information do you need?
What is your judgement and why?
9. Traffic Lighting – Ideal for analysing newspapers for bias. Using different coloured highlighters
Red – Highlight strong – Sweeping statements, beliefs, feelings, self interest, one sided arguments, uncorroborated claims
Amber – Highlight milder versions of the red claims
Green – Highlight the facts or strongly evidenced claims
Bonus Material You Should Check out and explore–if you are a teacher or love learning:
Original Source: here
Also interesting……this Blooms Taxonomy re-mix
Also interesting……this summary of research
Not quite as cool…..but also interesting and potentially helpful here.