21st Century Learning and Regional Training Center's Thinking Skills Course
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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Creativity and Innovation
Reason effectively: inductive, deductive.
Use systems thinking: analyze how parts of a
whole interact to produce over-all outcomes.
Make judgments and decisions: synthesize,
interpret, make connections, draw conclusions.
Solve problems: in both innovative and
Thinking creatively: elaborate, refine, analyze
and evaluate ones own ideas; create new and
Work creatively with others: incorporate group
input and feedback; view failure as an
opportunity to learn.
Implement innovations: act on creative ideas to
make them tangible and useful.
Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively.
Use communications to inform, instruct,
motivate and persuade.
Communicate effectively in diverse
Use multiple media and technologies to
Demonstrate ability to work effectively and
respectfully with diverse teams.
Exercise flexibility and willingness to be
helpful – making compromises – to accomplish
a common goal.
Assume shared responsibility for collaborative
work and value all contributions.
Devote instructional time to class and
Teach students the requisite social or
Empower your classroom community to
develop common values, shared goals and
Enable your students to develop a shared
responsibility for each member of the
Empower your classroom community to co-
determine the learning task or project
Encourage positive interdependence
Encourage a strong sense of class or
Set aside specific time to reflect on how well
the class or community is addressing its
academic objectives and relational needs.
• Cognitive structures (basic neurological
connections students need for thinking)
• Thinking skills and processes
• Five mind/brain learning principles for
1. Each brain learns in a
2. The brain requires
3. The brain is influenced
4. The brain seeks
patterns and searches
5. The brain is a complex
organ that can
function on many
levels and in many
Applying the thinking skills
they have acquired to the
course content or curriculum
In this section of the course we will
share different cooperative learning
procedures for thinking in pairs
(dyads), triads, quads and other group
Sometimes termed metacognition, this
theme addresses the question:
How do we empower our students to
• their own thoughts,
• their intrapersonal data, and
• the internal processes they use to
In this theme we focus on learning activities
designed to enable students to think creatively
and critically on the larger issues that we
confront in the st century such as
• war and peace
• global warming
• environmental protection
• hunger and poverty
• quality education, and other important topics
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