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Focusing on pupils’ behaviour rather than than on their curricular achievement Ignoring pupils who are disengaged as long as they are reasonably quiet and non-disruptive Letting pupils work for long periods of time on individualised work with low demand and little active input Encouraging pupils to be passive consumers of information rather than active learners Limiting the scope of the teaching, in case the class becomes noisy or disruptive Controlling knowledge by teaching complex topics in superficial ways or by closing off discussion
Developing thinking handouts_2010
Developing Thinking through Dialogue Robert Fisher www.teachingthinking.net
What is the purpose of education?Education …‘has for its purpose not the imparting of particular knowledge but the strengthening of mental faculties’ (Kant)… to cultivate the mind and develop character?
Key principles• Cognitive challenge (teacher) • Social construction (teacher-pupil of learning pupil-pupil) • Reflecting on learning (pupil)
Levels of learning• Shallow Processed experience – ‘being told’ What is remembered in the short term Easy to define, deliver and assess• Deep Specific to individual understanding Is internalised in long term memory Hard to define, deliver and assess
Why teach for thinking?‘If thinking is how we make sense of experience then helping our children to become better thinkers will help them to get more out of learning and more out of life.’ Fisher, R. (2008) Teaching Thinking Continuum
What are thinking skills?We are what we repeatedly do.Excellence is not an act, but a habit’ (Aristotle)A thinking skill is:• a mental process learnt through practice• how we apply intelligence to a problem• our capacity to make judgementsWhat is good thinking?
What intelligences should be developed? linguistic (verbal) logico-mathematical (mathematical) naturalist (scientific) spatial (visual) musical (musical) bodily-kinaesthetic (physical) interpersonal (social) intrapersonal (metacognitive) existential (philosophical) (Gardner 1999) (Fisher 2005)
Defensive teaching What kinds of teaching limit learning?• Focusing on behaviour not learning• Ignoring students• Individualised work with low demand• Encouraging pupils to be passive• Limiting the scope of the teaching• Controlling knowledge
What is good teaching?‘A good teacher makes you think, even when you don’t want to’ (Tom, aged 10)‘A good teacher makes what you think matters’ (Joel, aged 8)
What is a person?How do you differ from a cabbage? How do persons differ from things? Persons are:• social beings• emotional beings• rational beings• creative beings• active beingsHow then should persons be taught?
What is creative is about personalised learning?Learning is not only about what we can dobut also about who we are (inner purposes):• self expression• self worth• self-knowledge
Models of dialogue• Exploratory talk (Barnes 1976, Mercer 2000)• Dialogic talk (Alexander 2004)• Community of enquiry (Lipman 1980, Fisher)
How does dialogue differfrom mere conversation?Dialogic strategies include:• Effective listening• Thinking time• Questioning• Probing• Challenging• Assessing
Socratic questions Socratic questions• are open-ended and progressive• move from concrete to abstract literal critical conceptual• by asking for information or examples• probing reasons, evidence, implications• and seeking the meanings of concepts
How do we create an enquiring classroom?I keep six honest serving menThey taught me all I knewTheir names are What and Why and WhenAnd How and Where and Who Rudyard Kipling
Learning through rich tasks Rich learning tasks involve:• intellectually challenging teaching• thinking time - personal study in depth• learning with others – dialogic pairs/groups• learning linked to several subjects• learning shared and displayed• assessing success of learning
Assessment for LearningTeacher/pupil, peer and self assessment• Questioning sustaining and challenging• Dialogue listening and responding• Feedback focusing on learning• Planning planning next steps‘I don’t just want to give an answer I want to talk about it.’ Child aged 11, (Highland LEA project)
Reflecting on learningReview or plenary sessions are most successful when there include:• open (or Socratic) questions• lengthy responses• reference to ‘big’ ideas• connections to other learning and to life