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Facilitating Thinking: A Major Issue


I believe most teachers have fairly extensive and detailed maps of curriculum areas in their heads.

These conceptual maps allow them to look at individual children (or cohorts of children), evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and determine needs and next learning steps.

Many teachers however would struggle to do this in the area of thinking.

This is not meant to be a derogatory statement; rather it is a simple function of a new and changing focus on thinking.

Most of our teachers have limited and sparse conceptual maps of thinking. They are in fact moving into new and relatively unexplored territory.

If we are going to effectively target the deliberate facilitation of thinking as a corporate exercise then our schools really need to develop commonly held maps of thinking.

We need to do some serious reflection and discussion about thinking to help us develop and flesh out our conceptual maps of thinking.

Edward De Bono has said that “Questions are the engine house of thinking” and that all effective thinking is driven by questions. I believe that there are a number of useful questions that we must develop answers to so we can build sound conceptual maps of thinking.

12 questions about thinking:

What is thinking?

What is The relationship Between Thinking and Learning?

What is an effective thinker?

What attitudes does an effective thinker have?

What skills does an effective thinker need?

What are the basic, foundational or core skills of thinking?

What is the reasoning process?

What is the relationship between critical and creative thinking?

What stimulates thinking?

What is the difference between thinking tools and thinking skills?

How do we determine which tools to use in our classrooms?

What is the best way to facilitate thinking?