Proposal Submitted to John Dewey Academy in Great Barrington, MA


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Proposal Submitted to John Dewey Academy in Great Barrington, MA

  1. 1. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann Executive Summary A study by Beyth-Maron (cited in Cotton, 1997) found that critical thinking underscores the ability to make good choices. As with creativity, the “emotional tone of the person solving problems” affects insight (Sternberg & Davidson, 1995, p. xi). Metacognition and cognitive strategies, such as persevering, address the attitudes and habits of mind involved in insight (Gagné, Briggs, & Wager, 1988; Sugrue, 1994). Motivation and fear of failure influence risk taking and persevering (Legg, 1990). F. J. King, Ph.D., Ludwika Goodson, M.S., and Faranak Rohani, Ph.D. in a publication of the Educational Services Program, now known as the Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment (, in their article "Higher Order Thinking: Definitions, Teaching Strategies, and Assessment" point out clearly how [s]mall group activities such as student discussions, peer tutoring, and cooperative learning can be effective in the development of thinking skills. They also add that it is essential that these activities "involve challenging tasks, teacher encouragement to stay on task, and ongoing feedback about group progress." Critical Thinking "Some researchers and scholars use the terms "critical thinking" and "higher order thinking" interchangeably, while others define "critical thinking" as a form of higher order thinking. Some use the term "critical thinking" and "problem solving" interchangeably; yet for others, critical thinking is a form of problem solving. Still others define "critical thinking" as a part of the process of evaluating the evidence collected in problem solving or the results produced by thinking creatively (Crowl et al., 1997; Lewis & Smith, 1993). Critical thinking is a particular domain that is defined in detail through Gubbins' Matrix of Critical Thinking (cited in Legg, 1990), Facione, P. (n.d.), and the McREL Institute (Marzano, R.J., and others. 1992). Critical Thinking is: • goal-directed, reflective and reasonable thinking, as in evaluating the evidence for an argument for which all the relevant information may not be available (Cotton, 1997; Crowl et al, 1997; Facione, 1998; Lewis & Smith, 1993; Patrick, 1986) • an essential component in metacognitive processes (Crowl et al., 1997) • analysis, inference, interpretation, explanation, and self-regulation; requires inquisitive, systematic, analytical, judicious, truth-seeking, open-minded, and confident dispositions toward critical-thinking processes (Facione, 1998) • the disposition to provide evidence or reasoning in support of conclusions, request evidence or reasoning from others, and perceive the total situation and change one's views based on the evidence (Cotton, 1997) Theories Related to Learning and Higher Order Thinking Skills No one has yet explained the process of thinking much better than Dewey (1933), who described it as a sequenced chaining of events. According to Dewey, this productive process moves from reflection to inquiry, then to critical thought processes that, in turn, lead to a “conclusion that can be substantiated” (p. 5) by more than personal beliefs and images. Thought can straighten out entanglements, clear obscurities, resolve confusion, unify disparities, answer questions, define problems, solve problems, reach goals, guide inferences, shape predictions, form judgments, support decisions, and end controversies. According to Dewey, thinking does not occur spontaneously it must be “evoked” by “problems and questions” or by “some perplexity, confusion or doubt.” The observations or “data at hand cannot supply the solution; they can only suggest it” (p. 15). Furthermore, it is this “demand for the solution” (p. 14) that steadies and guides the entire process of reflective thinking, the “nature of the problem fixes the end of thought, and the end controls the process of thinking” (p. 15). Dewey’s conceptualization parallels current discussion and research about problem solving and metacognitive strategies and the importance of teaching students to think about their own thinking processes (Kauchak & Eggen, 1998). As students 1
  2. 2. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann become aware of their thinking processes, they realize how their own personal makeup can play a role in how they make their choices and interpret situations (Jacobs, 1994; Tversky & Kahneman cited in Ohio State University, n.d.; Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982). Factors such as culture, experience, preferences, desires, interests, and passions can radically alter the decision-making process (Kahneman et al., 1982). Nevertheless, with time and more experience in systematic thinking, individuals and groups can develop the principles to guide decision making so that “a certain manner of interpretation gets weight, authority” as long as “the interpretation settled upon is not controverted by subsequent events” (p. 126). "As adolescents move into adulthood, they develop skills such as logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts, scientific reasoning, and hypothesis testing. These skills are the foundation for problem solving, self-reflection, and critical reasoning (Crowl et al., 1997; Miles, 1992)." "The book "Dimensions of Thinking" has been designed as a practical handbook with definitions, examples, and classroom applications. Dimensions of learning (McREL, 1997) evolved from constructs expressed by scholars and researchers in a 1998 framework on dimensions of thinking (Marzano et al., 1998) and the follow-up experiences of educators in classroom situations (Hout, 1995). These dimensions parallel early concepts expressed by Dewey (1933)." "Rather than differentiate levels of thinking skills, the dimensions of learning establish a learnercentered framework with ... a set of practical, research-based instructional strategies that infuse critical thinking and selfdirected learning into curriculum and instruction; a flexible planning approach that allows teachers to focus on (1) knowledge to be learned, (2) broad issues and their applications to contemporary life, and (3) the meaningful use of knowledge .... (Huot, 1995), p.1)" "Researchers and teachers choose from a variety of frameworks for learning, with each framework approaching learning from simpler to more complex stages. However, the frameworks are artificial—they are a means of defining the thinking/learning process; they can in no way capture the intricacies of the thinking process. “The boundaries separating the forms of complex thinking are sometimes blurred and somewhat artificial, often reflecting the particular interest of individual investigators” (Crowl et al., 1997, p. 170)." "Educators have used the dimensions of learning as a resource for instructional strategies, managing school improvement, planning instruction and assessment, making systematic reforms, and defining what students must be able to do in order to solve problems and make decisions in many situations (McREL, 1997), the dimensions of learning are identified as follows. • Dimension 1: fostering positive attitudes and perceptions about learning in a supportive and safe learning environment (Dewey [1933] emphasized open-mindedness, wholeheartedness, and responsibility for thinking in environments of freedom, curiosity, variety, spontaneity, and novelty, and with joyful, structured, and integrated learning about thinking in all subjects.) • Dimension 2: acquiring and integrating knowledge, with emphasis on procedural knowledge (Dewey [1933] explained that thinking must include access to “past experience and a fund of relevant knowledge” [p. 15] to unravel confusion or generate a solution; it requires integration of character and mind through infusion of intellectual subjects with “so-called ‘informational’ subjects” [p. 278]; students use what they already know to attend to new knowledge [p. 68].) • Dimension 3: extending and refining knowledge through thinking (Dewey [1933] emphasized that changes in knowledge and belief rest upon careful and extensive study, purposeful widening of the area of observation, reasoning out the conclusions of alternative conceptions and “personal examination, scrutiny, and inquiry” [p. 8].) • Dimension 4: using knowledge in meaningful tasks, including systems analysis (ecosystems, systems of government, number systems, etc.) and authentic tasks over a period of time (Dewey [1933] observed that students use the power of thought to enrich meaning [pp. 17–23] and cannot learn to think via drill and practice on isolated tasks that have nothing in common with or too 2
  3. 3. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann • much familiarity with their earlier life experiences [p. 68]; students learn best “when something beyond their ken is introduced” [p. 289] to which they can apply “the old, the near, the accustomed” [p. 290].) Dimension 5: developing habits of mind that help one organize new information, think, and learn, such as seeking accuracy, avoiding impulsiveness, and persisting when answers are not apparent (Dewey [1933] proposed that “correct habits of reflection” are a central factor in thinking, involving systematic movement from one thought to another, instead of an “irresponsible stream of fancies”; noting or observing facts instead of just “something . . . brought to mind”; using quality proof and logic as the “basis of belief,” and carefully looking into things, instead of reckless or impatient glances “over the surface”; following up ideas and outcomes of discovery instead of “haphazard, grasshopper-like” guessing; and “suspending judgments till inferences have been tested by the examination of evidence” instead of “whim, emotion, or accidental circumstances” [pp. 4, 9-10, 89, 165-178].) The Habits of Mind (HoM) framework developed through the work of Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick and subsequently through the work of Robert Marzano (1992) with his creation of the Dimensions of Learning. Costa and Kallick (2000) ideas began with professional discussions in 1982, before developing into classroom experiments that have shaped the current HoM concepts. Initially, Art Costa (1985) created a hierarchy of thinking in his article, The Behaviors of Intelligence. Costa's hierarchy of thinking included the concepts of discrete thinking skills (comparing, classifying, and hypothesizing); thinking strategies (e.g., problem solving, decisionmaking); creative thinking (model making, metaphorical thinking) and the cognitive spirit (openmindedness, searching for alternatives, withholding judgment). Costa's original thinking behaviors were further refined in his 1996 edition of "Developing Minds: A resource book for teaching thinking". Subsequent to this work by Costa a number of writers (Marzano, 1992; Meier, 2003; Sizer & Meier, 2004) have developed similar, yet slightly different lists surrounding the HoM concept. The McREL Institute makes the dimensions framework a practical tool by offering a teacher’s manual, a newsletter, and other resources to teachers that link their teaching strategies in the dimensions to standards and benchmarks. These resources show teachers how to apply the dimensions in real classroom situations and how to integrate the dimensions in curriculum frameworks across a variety of subject areas. Tips on how to apply the dimensions are specific and evolve from a dialogue with teachers entrenched in the process of learning. Marzano’s 1994 book, Assessing Student Outcomes: Performance Assessment Using the Dimensions of Learning, includes a detailed list of questions corresponding to each reasoning process. The concept of multiple dimensions of thinking has long-standing stability in teaching and learning when viewed in a larger context. For example, Symonds, in his 1936 book Education and the Psychology of Thinking, stated that “Thinking is not the application of independent units, one at a time, but rather a skillfully conducted interplay of habits and skills” (as cited in Glaser, 1941, pp. 66-67). This skillful interplay of habits and skills matches the concepts of Dewey (1933) as well as the more contemporary “dimensions of learning” of McREL (1997). Another dimension, “content and context,” provides the individual with something to think about, but serves primarily as “the vehicle that carries” the thinking skills (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993, p. 161). "Higher order thinking skills are grounded in lower order skills such as discriminations, simple application and analysis, and cognitive strategies and linked to prior knowledge of subject matter content (vocabulary, procedural knowledge, and reasoning patterns). Appropriate teaching strategies and learning environments facilitate the growth of higher order thinking ability as do student persistence, selfmonitoring, and open-minded, flexible attitudes." "In higher order thinking, the path is not clear in advance, nor readily visible from any single vantage point. The process involves interpretation about uncertainty using multiple and sometimes 3
  4. 4. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann conflicting criteria. It often yields multiple solutions, with self-regulation of thinking, to impose meaning and find structure in disorder (Clarke, 1990). High-order-thinking as described well by Lewis and Smith (1993) entails the following: Higher order thinking occurs when a person takes new information and information stored in memory and interrelates and/or rearranges and extends this information to achieve a purpose or find possible answers in perplexing situations. A variety of purposes can be achieved through higher order thinking . . . deciding what to believe; deciding what to do; creating a new idea, a new object, or an artistic expression; making a prediction; and solving a non-routine problem. (p. 136)" Despite the different names theorists have given to the elements of thinking skills development, the fundamental process is the same. This framework describes a challenging process in which students interpret, analyze, or manipulate information. It involves the filling in of information that is missing from a logical sequence, extending an incomplete argument or evidence, and rearranging the information to effect a new interpretation by moving through a series of interconnected steps (Lewis & Smith, 1993). Background For more than thirty years, I have maintained a strong interest in positively affecting the lives of children and adolescent youth. I am motivated by a sense of gratitude for those individuals that encouraged me to be the best that I could be, demonstrated lasting examples of compassion and unselfishness, and provided mentoring to me through their good habits, methods, and practices ultimately enabling me to achieve more than I would have otherwise thought possible. I am also progressively acting on "what gift or resource has grown within me". The best evidence that I have to show others that I am capable of teaching "Theory-In-Use" (Schon) is through its regular application with our 21-year-old son Daniel for the last four years along with the positive outcomes that he has achieved while attending George Mason University located in Fairfax, Virginia. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not give an enormous amount of credit to my loving and devoted wife of 31 years, Wilda. She grew up as a Military brat, the middle child, and one of three girls in a two-parented household where both parents successfully completed college, operated their own business and acquired numerous investment properties over the course of fifty years. Wilda chose to become a doctor of medicine. Her older sister Ivy is an attorney at law. The youngest sister Julie is a successful corporate executive. When asked to identify the most significant factors that contributed to their success I include safety, parental warmth, love, emotional support; high self-regard, an early emphasis on life skills, coping and resiliency training and development, and academic success and professional mastery in their chosen fields, and a keen focus on setting their priorities and responsibly sticking to them. All three women are beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, and highly respected and spiritually grounded. In my youth, things were different for me. I grew up with my older brother Jeffrey and younger sister Michelle. We grew up in a single-parented household headed by our mother, who became a recipient of social welfare. She had a difficult life; unable to keep a job for long periods because of poor mental health, she also encountered problems with alcoholic use. Our Mother was married several times but never truly found lasting happiness or her place in the sun. After battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for several years, her life ended in her early fifties. I presented added stress during preadolescence being hyperactive, mischievous and at other times unrestrained. With a developing reputation as a delinquent youth, poor student and repeated runaway, I eventually became a ward of the State of New Jersey at age fourteen. Had it not been for my grandparents, I am convinced that I would have ended up in a reformatory, jail or become another African American male statistic. Of course, I wish that I could tell you that I have come full circle and mastered everything there is to know about right-mindedness. I cannot because I believe that I still have a long way to go. However, I am steadfastly moving in the right direction. Over the course of many years, after facing many obstacles, 4
  5. 5. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann I took to heart enough of the right things to be able to finish college, get married, start a family, keep a job, and learn how to assist in nurturing our son Daniel to become a well-adjusted, caring, well-mannered, humble, kind, studious and aspiring young Artist. Daniel is our pride and joy. The way that I approach my responsibilities every day is to build upon what we have already accomplished together as a family and to continue to honor the loss of our other child, Daniel's older brother Jonathan, tragically died in an automobile accident when Daniel was only six years old. Outline of Projects As a professional business leader, independent researcher, aspiring spiritual practitioner I elected to apply to Seton Hall University for a Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Communication & Leadership (MASCL) through the College of Arts and Science Online Program. I wish to find ways to add fresh kindling that will fuel the sparks of hope, meaning, purpose, spirit and well-being within all types of learning environments. To accomplish this process requires integrity, caring, and collaboration with other "change agents". This calls for new communication and leadership skill development focusing first on relationship with a transcendental source of consciousness or universal knowing. This is the reason why I seek to engage in the MASCL learning experience. I am looking forward to focusing on the communication and leadership practices so essential in building trust and teamwork, managing conflict, implementing change, and providing creative and effective authentic leadership, and the kind of communication strategies that will represent a powerful and sustainable energy source for generating the following actions: • Basing motivation primarily on selfless service - intending first and foremost to give and benefit the larger whole, with the skill and conscious attention to do this in a sustainable manner • Maximizing student and teacher value • Promoting stewardship, justice and inclusiveness of all • Being attentive to the gifts of all, and compassionately regarding each person's needs • Making authentic leadership a reality • Practicing wisdom learning • Developing a strong sense of collectiveness and collaboration • Living in line with one's values • Honoring the experience and wisdom of "those who have paved the way before us" • Using resources efficiently and honorably • Recognizing the essential goodness and work ethic of students, teachers and other stakeholders • Providing opportunities for individuals to actualize their potential, which includes self-actualization as well as academic abilities, career aspirations and personal fulfillment • Recognizing the interconnectivity of people, nature, and business enterprises • Emphasizing the universal nature of principles from which to operate harmoniously and creatively • Focusing first on a relationship with a transcendental source of consciousness, within which a relationship with creation finds new meaning, joy and happiness Pilot Study Learning and Teaching Objective My intention for launching a Pilot Study is to explore new approaches to meeting learning needs through the application of alternative conceptions, personal examination, scrutiny and inquiry, criticalthinking, self-directed learning and discussions, peer-lead-tutoring, cooperative learning options, systematic reflection, and narrative and storytelling. Equally important, is providing students with an opportunity to give attention to conflicts and dilemmas, while subjecting them to public inquiry rather than depending solely on traditional classroom-based taught classes and "Espoused theory," (Shon). This executive summary is an overview of the proposed work to be undertaken and describes what is intended to take place in the pilot study group at the John Dewey Academy in Great Barrington, Massachusetts if this proposed 3 Year longitudinal study is approved by the Academy Board of Trustees. 5
  6. 6. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann While the primary focus is on the students and their needs and experiences, it is also an open invitation to staff, teachers, parents, community leaders and mentors who wish to contribute to fresh, new, or indeed the revision of existing, learning materials that are determined to be more suitable for increasing participant Dimension 5 "Habits of Mind and Heart". "Habits of mind may be defined as the characteristics of what intelligent people do and think when they face an issue or a problem, and thus may play an important role influencing the degree of learner participation." This proposed case study aims to advance a line of research that examines facilitator's habits of mind and heart influence or practice on learner's participation by analyzing their habits of mind and heart. The following habits of mind and heart of the learners will be examined (a) critical thinking, (b) creative thinking, (c) ethical thinking, (d) responsible thinking, and (e) self-regulated thinking. The extent to which both students and others will develop higher order thinking ability largely depends upon how content and context interplay with their lower order thinking skills, dispositions, and abilities. Dispositions and abilities play key parts of the thinking process. Marzano (1993) describes one set of dispositions as “habits of mind.” These include seeking accuracy and clarity, being completely open-minded, restraining impulsiveness, and taking a position or direction, as well as self-regulation, critical thinking, and creative thinking. Other researchers treat self-regulation as part of metacognition, and critical and creative thinking as separate dimensions (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993). We postulate that little is clear about how facilitators' thinking dispositions or habits of mind and heart may affect learners' participation in a dimensions of learning environment. "According to Marzano, Pickering and McTighe (1993, p.23), “Researchers in the field of cognitive psychology have found that human beings, unlike any other animal, have the ability to control their own behavior, even their own thought processes, by using effective habits of mind”. It appears that facilitators’ habits of mind may play an important role in influencing the degree of learners’ participation. Facilitators’ of habits of mind need differentiation from their facilitation roles or functions. Facilitation roles or functions are typically skills-or knowledge-based. Habits of mind, on the other hand, are affective aspects of thinking (Neo & Cheung, 2005); consisting of life-enhancing activities -- namely experimentation, innovation and learning; the natural disposition or tendency to employ one’s skills or knowledge in deciding what to do in any circumstance. Although an individual may have the necessary skills or knowledge to act, he or she may not be disposed to do so (Facione, Facione, & Giancarlo, 1997). Without the habits of mind and the habits of heart, people may even not use their skills or abilities thereby dampening creativity and preventing the healthy states of peacefulness of mind. Facilitators’ use of habits of mind represents a research area that has hitherto received little attention as compared to facilitation roles." Research questions In this pilot longitudinal study, we will analyze the habits of mind and heart of the facilitators: (a) critical thinking, (b) creative thinking, (c) ethical thinking, (d) responsible thinking, and (e) self-regulated thinking. Based on the habits of mind and heart, the following research questions need answering: 1. To what degree is each of the habits of mind and heart exhibited by the facilitators during the course of their teaching? 2. What types of habits of mind and heart are prominent in groups that have a high degree of participation in the discussion? 3. How have student’s attitudes, sense of efficacy and belief in their ability to overcome adversity been affected? 4. In what ways do students see improvement in their motivation, socio-cognitive functioning, emotional well-being and performance? 6
  7. 7. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann 5. To what extent have students academic goals, aspirations and personal standards for the quality of their work changed? 6. Are the students who are engaged in the pilot connecting heart and mind through selfdirectedness, clear thinking, and the development of insight and transcendence? Literature review A review of the following literature will be undertaken to identify how and why keeping learning journal contributes to study group participant deep learning and the ability to explicitly express their thoughts in writing. One probable reason is that "the very process of writing itself encourages reflections which helps to promote higher level learning such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation as well as clear precise thinking (Cheung & Hew, 2004; Newman, Webb, & Cochran, 1997)". Baldwin, C. (1991). Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest. Bantam Books. Crawford, M. & Rossiter, G., (2006). Reasons for living: Education and young people's search for meaning, identity and spirituality. Australian Council for Educational. Jones, C., (1986). The Study of Spirituality. Oxford University Press, USA Kashdan, Ph.D., T. (2009). Curious? discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. New York, NY: William Morrow an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. King, F.J., Goodson, L., & Rohani, F. (1998). Higher Order thinking Skills: Definition, Teaching Strategies and Assessment. A publication of the Educational Services program, now known as the Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment Nozick, R. (1989). The examined life. New York: Simon & Schuster. Pulist, S.K. (2001). Learner-Centeredness: An Issue of Institutional Policy in the Context of Distance Education. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education -TOJDE. Volume: 2 Number: Article No:6. Indira Gandhi National University-INDIA. Shon, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think Action. Ashgate Publishing. Shon, D. (1984). The Design Studio: An Exploration of Its Traditions and Potentials. London: RIBA Publications for RIBA Building Industry Trust. Shon, D. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Shon, D. (1991). The Reflective Turn: Case Studies In and On Educational Practice. Teachers College Press; First Edition, First Printing edition . Zimmerman, B.J., & Paulsen, A.S. (1995). Self-monitoring during collegiate studying: An invaluable tool for academic self-regulation. In P. Pintrich (Ed.), New Directions in college teaching and learning: Understanding self-regulated learning. (pp. 13-27). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Weinstein, C.E., Husman, J., & Dierking, D.R. (2000). Self-regulation interventions with a focus on learning strategies. In M. Boekaerts, P. Pintrich, & M. Seidner (Eds.), Self-regulation: Theory, research, and applications) pp. 727-747). Orlando, Fl: Academic Press. 7
  8. 8. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann Methodology We will use a case-based research approach in this study. The primary sources of data will be the "learning journal" postings of both the facilitators and the learner participants. Our interest is to highlight the processes of reflection and deepening understanding involved when learning becomes a specific focus. The four basic elements that must be included in the learning journal are the following: • • • • Description of the situation/encounter/experience that includes some attention to feelings at the time. Additional material - information that comes to our notice or into our minds after the event. Reflection - going back to the experiences, attending to feelings and evaluating experience (Boud 1985:26-31). Things to do - the process of reflection may lead to the need to look again at a situation or to explore some further area. It may highlight the need to take some concrete actions. This approach is believed suitable given that the key purpose of this study is to help us gain an in-depth understanding of a situation (Merriam, 2001) -- facilitators' habits of mind and heart in a study group learning environment, rather than to generate grand predictions or prove or disprove underlying hypotheses. Data analysis It is important to uncover the extent to which learners are self-organizing, self-determined, proactive, self-regulating and self-reflective. According to Albert Bandura (2005), they are contributors to their life circumstances not just products of them. To be an agent is to influence intentionally one’s functioning and life circumstances. There are four core features of human agency. One such feature is intentionality. People form intentions that include action plans and strategies for realizing them. The second feature involves the temporal extension of agency through forethought. This includes more than future-directed plans. People set themselves goals and anticipate likely outcomes of prospective actions to guide and motivate their efforts anticipatorily. A future cannot be a cause of current behavior because it has no material existence. However, represented cognitively in the present, visualized futures serve as current guides and motivators of behavior. Agents are not only planners and fore thinkers. They are also self-regulators. They adopt personal standards, monitor, and regulate their actions by self-reactive influence. They do things that give them satisfaction and a sense of self-worth, and refrain from actions that bring self-censure. People are not only agents of action. They are self-examiners of their own functioning. Through functional selfawareness, they reflect on their personal efficacy, the soundness of their thoughts and actions, and the meaning of their pursuits, and they make corrective adjustments if necessary. Forethought and selfinfluence are important parts of a causal structure. Results TBD Discussion McPeck concludes that it is just as important to teach the structure of a discipline (p. 49) as to teach thinking skills, and that “most problems are in fact ‘multicategorical’ and not domain-specific” (p. 113). The concept of multiple dimensions of thinking has long-standing stability in teaching and learning when viewed in a larger context. For example, Symonds, in his 1936 book Education and the Psychology of Thinking, stated that “Thinking is not the application of independent units, one at a time, but rather a skillfully conducted interplay of habits and skills” (as cited in Glaser, 1941, pp. 66-67). This skillful interplay of habits and skills matches the concepts of Dewey (1933) as well as the more contemporary 8
  9. 9. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann “dimensions of learning” of McREL (1997). Another dimension, “content and context,” provides the individual with something to think about, but serves primarily as “the vehicle that carries” the thinking skills (Fogarty& McTighe, 1993, p. 161). In addition, in order to understand ourselves we need a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, `I know myself', you have already stopped learning about yourself; or if you say, 'There is nothing much to learn about myself because I am just a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences and traditions', then you have also stopped learning about yourself. The moment you have achieved anything you cease to have that quality of innocence and humility; the moment you have a conclusion or start examining from knowledge, you are finished, for then you are translating every living thing in terms of the old. Whereas if you have no foothold, if there is no certainty, no achievement, there is freedom to look, to achieve. Moreover, when you look with freedom it is always new. A confident man is a dead human being. ( Limitations and future research TBD Acknowledgement TBD References F.J. King, Ph.D., Ludwika Goodson, M.S., and Faranak Rohani, Ph.D. A Higher Order Thinking Skills: Definition, Teaching Strategies and Assessment a publication of the Educational Services Program, now known as the Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment ( (1998) Wing Sum Cheung and Khe Foon Hew, Examining facilitators' habits of mind and learners' participation. National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. (2008) E. James Wilder, The Theoretical Basis for the Life Model - Appendix B: Research and Resources on Human Development. (2003) John Campbell, Theorizing Habits of Mind a Framework for Learning. Central Queensland University. (2007) Mark K. Smith, 'Keeping a learning journal', the ( (1999, 2006) encyclopedia of informal Albert Bandura, Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents, 1-43. Information Age Publishing. (2005) 9 education.
  10. 10. Dimensions of Learning A Proposal for the John Dewey Academy Pilot Study Group - Final Document 2011 Author, Jon Dunnemann After carefully reviewing this summary, please let me, know whether this represents the kind of research case study that the John Dewey Academy would be interested in. 10