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In most classrooms, the days of memorization-focused teaching are gone. Though, we are still in the midst of a transition to building students’ critical thinking skills. Critical thinking leads students to understand and apply information instead of just remembering facts. Paula Johnson, M.A., an IDRA education associate, describes how teachers can foster critical thinking through the integrated use of: substantive student conversations, visual literacy and higher-order questioning. She also gives examples of how teachers can lead structured and unstructured conversations and how to use graphic organizers and foldables to draw more out of students so that they learn to apply what they are learning to their lives.
Also see the IDRA Classnotes Podcast about this presentation at http://www.idra.org/Podcasts/