Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nurturing Critical Thinking in our Students....

This school year, I have the exciting opportunity to work with teachers from around my county's cluster on a special "Cluster Initiative." Through this work, we get to work with Garfield Gini-Newman, a Senior Consultant at The Critical Thinking Consortium, and collaborate with subject-like colleagues to better plan for and design engaging curriculum for our students.

Especially with our current students, it is beyond essential to develop creative critical thinkers in our classrooms. We are the seeds to plant this love of learning and thinking in them. But how can be best nurture and cultivate critical thinking in our adolescent students?

According to Gini-Newman, we need to tweak what we do, fortify the activities we engage students in to push them a little harder, and incorporate use of specific, advanced technology that directly speaks to and engages students. After all, technology is a great enabler to education. So, how do we change our students' learning? How do we help them to better sort and use information in their daily learning? To do so, we must ask not how smart our kids are but instead HOW are our kids smart?

Inquiry projects like our Cluster Initiative help us think about HOW kids think and help us learn how to better engage them, as people, technology consumers, and learners. Using prompts such as, "I want you to look into and tell us" and "Tell me more about...." are solid starting points to facilitate this difficult and often messy process. This, in turn, helps students understand how they can use thinking skills to better solve problems.

The wheels keep turning......

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