week 12

April 5, 2008

This week, we did the last presentation which is use infusion approach to teach thinking skills. Before our presentation, three are three groups. I paid attention to their presentation and found they are interesting but some of them hadn’t focus on thinking skills but on the topics. I think it’s wrong, because it’s not the main purpose of lessons.

I think our group’s work is ok. Dr Kamisah Osman gave a good comment to our presentation. I think the reason is that we not only used an interesting way to teach thinking skills, but also involved infusion approach very well. But a little pity, when we did activity, the answers is too obvious. Dr kamisah reminded us that point. We’ll be careful next time.

After all, it’s a very good chance for us to practice infusion approach from this assignment. I know what and how to apply it in real class.

Thanks to Dr kamisah Osman! 


week 11

April 5, 2008

This week, our group prepared for another presentation. That is to choose one topic which involves infusion approach for teaching thinking skills, then write a lesson plan about it, at last, give a presentation.

For doing it, our group met and discussed some times. At the end, we decided to teach basic knowledge of music-types of music. We think it’s a very interesting topic and it can also apply some thinking skills in this lesson.

In the process of writing lesson plan, first, we need the information of music and thinking skills. So we searched the internet. Then we discussed what activity we should use in the lesson. At last, we conclude there are four thinking skills involved in this lesson. They are classifying, diagramming, illustrating and discriminating.

From this assignment, I got a lot:

  1. I got some knowledge about music.
  2. I knew some thinking skills deeply.
  3. I knew how to teach thinking skills in infusion approach.
  4. I know how to teach thinking skills in interesting ways.
  5. I practice to write lesson plan.

week 10

April 5, 2008

This week we did the presentation. The topic is the approach of teaching thinking skills. For doing it, we have read and discussed materials handed out by Dr Kamisah Osman, and then we unified all the ideas, at last, we arranged them and finished our power point. We did presentation one group by one group. Watching others’ presentation is very helpful. It not only helps me to understand these 3 approaches more clearly, but also lets our group know shortcomings by comparing. Some groups did very well; they introduce exact definitions and gave very good examples which are easy to understand. I learnt a lot from them.


week 5

April 5, 2008

This week, I engaged in blog building. It’s a very interesting part in this course.

First, I learnt the advantages of doing it; then I ‘m interested in it and want to know how to build it. Dr Rosseni helped us a lot in this part. She showed us how to do it one step by one step patiently and asked us to practice after class.

At the beginning, I just built one blog, but I don’t know how to manage it. It involves many details, such as linking friends, giving comments and so on. After asked Doctor, I have known how to manage blog very well and often update it when I’m free. It’s a good place to express ourselves and learn from others. I more and more like blog.

Week 3

April 5, 2008

This week, I did an assignment which assigned by Dr Osman.

That is to find one journal article about the teaching thing skills in language teaching, and then I need to reflect all the procedures that I have employed in the process of finding the article.

I think this assignment is very useful for us to learn this course well, because in the process of article, it involves lots of thinking skills. It’s a good way to apply these skills in real environment. We could improve the comprehension of them and practice how to use them well. Actually, it really works. After finish this assignment, I find myself had a deep understanding of this course and know how to apply thinking skills for problem solving.

Dr kamisah Osman also gave us some suggestions for doing this assignment. It’s really helpful. I realize thinking skills appear everywhere in real life. Thinking skills in education is a very important course for us. I would like to learn well.

Critical thinking in education

March 25, 2008

LEARNING Critical Thinking — Educating Yourself
If you want to learn, you can use tutorials about The Logic of Critical Thinking. (from Hong Kong, San Jose, and Kansas City!)TEACHING Critical Thinking — Activities & Strategies      In order to teach thinking, we need instruction that encourages thinking.  One useful approach is Socratic Teaching. (also, Six Types of Socratic Questions)
      ERIC Digests offers excellent introductory summary/overviews — How Can We Teach Critical Thinking? & Promoting Critical Thinking in the Classroom & Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking — plus methods for teaching critical thinking in the contexts of environmental education & literature & television & adult ESL.  { All except “adult ESL” were written between 1989 and 1994, so they’re not up-to-date, but most principles for “teaching critical thinking” were discovered/invented before 1989 and are still relevant today. }   And ERIC has a wide range of resources, letting you search for research & other information about thinking skills (critical thinking, evaluative thinking, decision making, …) and much more.
      Useful ideas about critical thinking and education are in Critical Thinking by Design (Joanne Kurfiss) and Critical Thinking: Basic Questions and Answers (Richard Paul).  For a broad overview, A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking.
      The Center for Critical Thinking (led by Richard Paul) offers a links-page for its pages about thinking skills education in College & K-12 and more;  although each page is in an age-range category, most pages are useful for teachers (and students) at all levels.  How is critical thinking relevant for business? — here is a discussion.  The Center for Critical Thinking describes research about critical thinking in collegesInsight Assessment (described earlier in this page) offers other options for the assessment of critical thinking.  And eventually there will be “critical thinking activities” in the area for TEACHING ACTIVITIES.
      The Center for Critical Thinking (cited above and throughout this page) provides lots of useful information, but there are many other good web resources.  For example, the “logic” section below describes Critical Thinking Web (with online tutorials), Mission Critical (offered by San Jose State University), and Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum (by Longview Community College);  and Peter Facione (past president of the American Conference of Academic Deans) has written 26 Case Studies for Conversation and Reflection for academic deans and department chairs.
      Critical Thinking on the Web offers links to many interesting, useful resources about critical thinking in a WIDE variety of areas, for teaching & tutorials and more.  It’s run by Tim van Gelder, whose specialty is Argument Mapping — overview & tutorial & links-page.

Why should we teach critical thinking?

March 25, 2008

As explained in the pages above, critical thinking is essential for effective functioning in the modern world.
      In an essay that “takes a Socratic approach to defining critical thinking and identifying its value in one’s personal, professional, educational, and civic life,”
Peter Facione (a dean at Santa Clara University, and founder of Insight Assessment) discusses “what and why” in Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts and concludes with a consensus statement (of experts in the field) about critical thinking and the ideal critical thinker:
      “We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based.  [Since this includes almost all types of logical reasoning,] CT is essential as a tool of inquiry.  As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life.  While not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon.  The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit.  Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal.  It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.”  {you can read the “Delphi Report” consensus statement, The Executive Summary for Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction, excerpts & entire report }      Education in critical thinking offers an alternative to a drift toward postmodern relativism, by emphasizing that we can “distinguish between facts and opinions or personal feelings, judgments and inferences, inductive and deductive arguments, and the objective and subjective.” {MCC General Education Initiatives}  Critical thinking encourages us to recognize that our “rationally justifiable confidence” in a claim can span a wide range, from feelings to fact and everything in between.  Three Categories of Questions explains why, because students don’t recognize questions involving “reasoned judgment” (which are neither fact nor opinion), they “fail to see the difference between offering legitimate reasons and evidence in support of a view and simply asserting the view as true.”  And you can “view book samples” for The Art of Asking Essential Questions (with samples).

Characteristics of critical thinkers

March 24, 2008

      For a quick overview, read Characteristics of Critical Thinking which begins with “What is Critical Thinking?” and continues with: Characteristics of Critical Thinking, Why We Should Teach Critical Thinking, and Teaching Strategies to Help Promote Critical Thinking Skills.
      Linda Elder and Richard Paul describe Valuable Intellectual Traits (Intellectual Humility, Courage, Empathy, Integrity, Perseverance, Faith In Reason, and Fairmindedness) and Universal Intellectual Standards (Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, and Logic).
      For a more comprehensive overview, use 35 Dimensions of Critical Thought as a launching pad to read 35 pages with brief, clear descriptions of Affective Strategies, Cognitive Strategies (Macro-Abilities), and Cognitive Strategies (Micro-Skills).
    An effective thinker must be willing to think and able to think.  These requirements — for disposition (be willing) and skill (be able) — are described in the pages above, and with more detail in a series of papers by Peter Facione, Noreen Facione, Carol Giancarlo, and Joanne Gainen.  I suggest The Motivation to Think in Working and Learning and Professional Judgment and the Disposition Toward Critical Thinking — or you can read the abstracts to see what looks interesting.  { All of these are in the website of InsightAssessment.com, which offers many resources for improving and assessing thinking skills including the “what & why” paper and “expert consensus” below. }

What is critical thinking?

March 24, 2008

      Critical = Evaluative
      To avoid misunderstanding, this page begins by explaining what it isn’t:  critical thinking is not necessarily being “critical” and negative.  In fact, it would be more accurate to call it evaluative thinking.  The result of evaluation can range from positive to negative, from acceptance to rejection or anything in-between.  Yes, critical evaluation can produce a glowing recommendation.  On this page, for example, the quotes and links — which are recommended, but (as with all sources of information) should be used with an attitude of “critical thinking” evaluation — are the result of my own critical thinking.
      In PRODUCTIVE THINKING SKILLS you generate ideas (by creativity) and evaluate ideas (by criticality).  Although creativity occurs first in the process, in this website the areas are reversed, with critical thinking before creative thinking.  Why?  Because I think critical thinking is more important, since wise evaluation can prevent “creativity plus enthusiasm” from converting questionable ideas into unwise action.
      Here are two brief definitions of what it is:  Critical thinking is “reasonably and reflectively deciding what to believe or do.” …  Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments.  Basically, it is using criteria to judge the quality of something, from cooking to a conclusion of a research paper.  In essence, critical thinking is a disciplined manner of thought that a person uses to assess the validity of something: a statement, news story, argument, research, etc.  { from Ennis, and Beyer-paraphrased }
      A page that is brief yet rich in ideas, and is worth reading carefully, is Defining Critical Thinking by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul.  You can read Our Concept of Critical Thinking from The Critical Thinking Community which offers a comprehensive Library of Articles for you to explore.
      Barbara Fowler has selected 19 brief definitions of critical thinking from a variety of sources.

Love is so rare

February 28, 2008

Like a tiny seed
Firmly in the soil
Nurtured with a love i think
So rare
Givin room to breathe
Givin time to see
It’s now so clear to me
You were there
You were there
When I was just a flower
Afraid out in the forest
Hiding from the shadows all alone
I knew you’d be along
My faith in you was strong
Like our favorite song
To lead me home
You led me home
And with each changing season
Though I grow a little stronger
Rising up to touch the open sky
And if I gave you a reason
Not to hold me any longer
You gave me thousand reasons why
You are my steady oak
Standing tall and strong
Protecting me with everything you have
And I know deep inside
I would not have survived
Without you by my side
Oh and I
I love you Dad