How do you use the ideas and strategies in the courses you teach to foster a rich conception of critical thinking in all aspects of life, including teaching and learning?
Drs. Richard Paul and Linda Elder, in their How to Improve Student Learning, begin with two premises:
- that to learn a subject well, students must master the thinking that defines that subject, and
- that we, in turn, as their instructors, must design activities and assignments that require students to think actively within the concepts and principles of the subject.
Students should master fundamental concepts and principles before they attempt to learn more advanced concepts. If class time is focused on helping students perform well on these foundational activities, we feel confident that the goals of most instruction will be achieved. It is up to you, the instructor, to decide which of these ideas you will test in the classroom. Only you can decide how to teach your students.
Recommendation: Use a “student understandings” Google form. This Google form should be given to students during the orientation to the course, with an explanation
of each item. Students then check off each item as they understand it. Here are sample:
It is important that students clearly understand what instructors expected of them.