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We all endorse it and we all want our students to do it. “It” is critical thinking, and very few of us actually teach it or even understand what it is (Paul & Elder, 2013).Research tells us that our students learn critical thinking only after we receive training in how to teach it and design our courses explicitly and intentionally to foster critical thinking skills (Abrami, Bernard, Borokhovski, Wade, Surkes, Tamim, & Zhang, 2008).
While sincerely trying to forward their viewpoint, they consciously model critical thinking, civil discourse, and the complementary dispositions for their class (Seesholtz & Polk, 2009).
They demonstrate that the stormy wars of words so common in today’s political mass media do not represent the only way to disagree.
Project-based learning (PBL) activities do encourage working on complex solving problems and coordinating with others.
If you collaborate on a project, you need to know how to determine the best person for the task, support each other, brainstorm ideas, negotiate, and possibly compromise on issues.
Let’s think about 2030 and the skills they are projecting people will need by then.
Now consider that your kindergarteners (5 and 6-year-olds) will be 10th and11th graders by 2030.
This involves dispositions that are a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character. If it is inevitable that certain jobs will be lost, then including mindset activities that encourage having an attitude of gratitude and developing a growth mindset.
Mindset is an idea discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
The literature around it is abstract and fragmented among several different scholars or scholarly teams who work in their own silos and don’t build on or even cite each other. While each has a different definition of critical thinking, they all agree that it involves the cognitive operations of interpretation and/or analysis, often followed by evaluation.
They also concur that students have to critically think about , which means students have to learn how to do it in a discipline-based course.