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The Relationship Between Thinking and Learning

 

Thinking is Central to Learning.

Learning is a process that modifies or strengthens world views, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, behaviours, skills, understanding, and knowledge.

Thinking is a process of response to external stimuli, and if thinking is effective it results in changes to or strengthening of world views, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, behaviours, skills, understanding, and knowledge.

Thinking and learning have the same outcomes, so have to be very closely related.

 

 

We can assume there are basically two types of thinking activity, effective and ineffective.

 

Ineffective Thinking is where a person makes a determination to think about something, proceeds to do so, goes round in circles, and there is no outcome. The thinking doesn't clarify anything, doesn't raise questions, and causes no change or strengthening to world view, belief, opinion, attitude, behaviour, skill, understanding or knowledge.

 

Effective Thinking is where there is an outcome. The thinking does make changes to world view, belief, opinion, attitude, behaviour/s, skill/s, understanding/s and knowledge.

 

If learning results in the same changes we can safely assume that there is no learning without thinking.

 

Thinking is Central to Learning

Thinking is central to learning because learning is a process where an individual modifies or strengthens world views, beliefs, opinion, attitudes, behaviours, skills, understandings and knowledge.

 

There is no learning without thinking.

 

The better the thinking, the better the learning.

 

The richer and deeper the thinking, the richer and deeper the learning.

If we are are serious about empowering our students as learners then we must focus on thinking. Empowering someone as a learner won't happen unless we empower them as thinkers.

 

A new challenge to schools: Better Thinking equals Better Learning

We now have many schools who are implementing programmes aimed at improving their student's thinking. Many of these schools are also developing assessment processes that show positive outcomes in improved student thinking. The challenge is that if there is improvement in thinking there should also be improvement in learning across the curriculum because learning and thinking can't be separated. If there is no matching shift in learning then we would have to challenge any data that indicates an improvement in thinking.