Reinvigorating today’s schools with Critical, Creative and Collaborative thinking Critical, creative and collaborative thinking should be at the centre of all 21st century teaching and learning. Creating Thinking Classrooms is loaded with examples, stories and strategies for reinvigorating schools with this quality thinking. Written for leaders who support teachers, this guide treats educational change as a process of renovation, rather than process of revolution, and emphasizes building upon, refining and sustaining the many good things happening in today’s schools. Practical and user-friendly, it emphasizes five key principles for learning and teaching: • Engaging students • Sustaining inquiry • Nurturing self-regulated learners • Creating assessment-rich learning • Enhancing learning through digital technology As a balanced and reasoned response to the challenges and opportunities facing schools, this book separates the rhetoric of school reform from reality by analyzing what’s actually happening and offering a plan educators can use. Recapture the fundamentals of classroom learning with a practical and powerful roadmap charting the way forward. As a principal and community superintendent, I observed firsthand how transformational the work of Garfield Gini-Newman and Roland Case is in the school community, and on a systemic level, in the school community, and on a systemic level. Creating Thinking Classrooms takes theory and research and places it directly into the hands of practitioners by offering thoughtful and immediately-useful strategies. Not only does this work transform engagement and achievement, but it also transforms thinking for both teachers and their students. Teaching and learning go from passive acquisition of information to active, purposeful, and deliberate interaction with the curriculum. It is a must-read! Ursula A. Hermann, Ph.D, retired principal and community superintendent Montgomery County Public Schools What impresses me most about Creating Thinking Classrooms is the notion of framing the retooling of schools as renovation or reinvigoration rather than as revolution. Too many seem to ignore that there are many good things worth preserving in our schools and others that need to be reframed or recast to give them greater currency. This book builds on what has worked and makes it better. The message – being purposeful and patiently focused on long-term success – is a powerful one that needs to be heard above the din. David Chojnacki, Executive Director Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools
Chapter 2: Thinking is the Key
Thinking is the Key
This chapter explains why thinking is foundational to teaching and learning—not as a dominant goal but as an overriding orientation to schooling. More specifically, it discusses
- key assumptions behind two long-standing orientations—what we call “discovery classrooms” and “didactic classrooms”—and behind our recommended orientation—what we call “thinking classrooms”;
- implications of each orientation for curriculum content, the nature of student learning, and the role of the teacher;
- evidence of the benefits for student achievement and engagement in adopting a “thinking classroom” as the dominant orientation to teaching and learning.
My most successful experience in supporting students in thinking for themselves began on the first day of a university methods course. Early on I explained the two kinds of requests that students can make ...