Developing Creative/Critical Habits of Mind
The development of creative and critical thinking is "at-risk" during school years. Unless students develop habits of using their minds well in their learning, students are unlikely to develop these habits later in life. Despite this, classroom and test questions continue to challenge students almost exclusively on the superficial level of recognizing and recalling isolated bits of information. Teachers wait and give students an average of less that a second of thinking time after asking a question and after hearing a student answer.
As testing moves toward open-ended questions and, in some states, toward authentic problem-tasks, and as our students head into a future of increased change and unknown challenges, educational reform must shift the focus of learning to habits of mind associated with problem sensitivity and problem solving. The following sites reflect useful work and models for doing this.
- ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS in TEACHING AND LEARNING -- Inquiring into Essential Questions gives teaching and learning purposeful, meaningful and "big picture" focus for learning details and ideas.
- QUESTING the WEB: Web Quests as Essential Questions -- A web quest is an inquiry based activity that is usually completed by a group or class.
- Layered Curriculum -- Dr. Kathie F. Nunley's richly layered web site, BRILLIANTLY COMBINING MULTIPLE INTELLEGENCES TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT AND CONFERENCING!
- 360 Degree Feedback -- Resources to develop multiple sources of assessment, improving reliability
- Articles on Brain-Based Education and Layered Curriculum -- Touches helpfully on most issues
- Breakthrough Thinking -- Important ideas and processes to make a real difference
- The Brain Connection -- Diverse, well-designed and up-to-date site!
- HABITS of MIND -- Several links exploring this deep concept.
- CREATIVITY -- Tools and sites for fostering creative thinking.
- WHAT IS A THINKING CURRICULUM -- A broad and insightful summary from NCREL--North Central Regional Educational Lab
- INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING -- Sites to explore open-ended teaching
- METACOGNITION and SELF-TALK -- Array of links to explore cognitive strategies
- Performance and Exhibitions: The Demonstration of Mastery
- Brain Biology and Layered Curriculum® Articles by Dr. Kathie F. Nunley
- H.O.T.S. [Higher Order Thinking Skills] HOME PAGE -- Many practical resources for teachers
- Thinking Applied Home page
- Links to Thinking Applied
- Brains.Org -- Practical applications of brain-based research
- THE CENTER FOR CRITICAL THINKING Resources K-12 -- Articles, links, and lesson activities for Grades K-12
- Teaching For Intelligence -- Recognizing and encouraging skillful thinking and behavior
MISSION:CRITICAL -- Tutorials in critical thinking and avoiding logical fallacies
- FUTURE PROBLEM SOLVING PROGRAM -- Project competition stressing creative problem solving
- THE BIG SIX: An Information Problem-Solving Process -- Mike Eisenberg's and Bob Berkowitz's influential view of thinking skills; needs tempering with his and others'
insight that these habits of mind are "recursive," that is they occur in
overlapping and "recycling" patterns
- Big6 Matrix: Information Literacy Standards and Internet Research -- Awesome and rich site for Internet and Critical Thinking
- RELEARNING BY DESIGN -- Many resources to aid in developing portfolio evaluation and other authentic assessment
HELPING STUDENTS ASSESS THEIR THINKING -- Brief and specific article worth reprinting for and using with students
- INTEGRATING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS INTO THE CLASSROOM -- Insightful article, rich in links
- THE COALITION OF ESSENTIAL SCHOOLS -- Articles in "Publications" section under both "HORACE" and Exhibitions and School Design pertain to "habits of mind"
- MIND TOOLS -- Life-planning and maximum use of mind and creativity
- IN-SITES for BRAIN-COMPATIBLE LEARNING -- Revolutionary implications from cognitive neuro-science
- PROBLEM SOLVING TEMPLATE -- A pattern for real-world problem solving
- GRAZING THE NET -- Habits of Mind needed for students on the Internet
- ODYSSEY OF THE MIND -- Team problem-solving competition for K-12
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