Becoming a critically reflective teacher
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BECOMING A CRITICALLY REFLECTIVE TEACHER. Stephen Brookfield Distinguished University Professor University of St. Thomas www.stephenbrookfield.com. WHAT IS IT? 4 FUNCTIONS. IDENTIFYING OUR ASSUMPTIONS CHECKING THEIR ACCURACY & VALIDITY VIEWING IDEAS & ACTIONS FROM ALTERNATE PERSPECTIVES

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BECOMING A CRITICALLY REFLECTIVE TEACHER

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BECOMING A CRITICALLY REFLECTIVE TEACHER

Stephen Brookfield

Distinguished University Professor

University of St. Thomas

www.stephenbrookfield.com


WHAT IS IT? 4 FUNCTIONS

  • IDENTIFYING OUR ASSUMPTIONS

  • CHECKING THEIR ACCURACY & VALIDITY

  • VIEWING IDEAS & ACTIONS FROM ALTERNATE PERSPECTIVES

  • TAKING INFORMED ACTION - THE SURVIVAL SKILL OF ADULT LIFE


4 LENSES ON PRACTICE

  • STUDENT’S EYES

  • COLLEAGUES’ PERCEPTIONS

  • THEORY/RESEARCH

  • AUTOBIOGRAPHY


STUDENTS’ EYES

  • CRITICAL INCIDENT QUESTIONNAIRE

  • ONE MINUTE PAPER

  • MUDDIEST POINT

  • AFTER HOURS GROUP

  • CLICKERS

  • LEARNING AUDIT


COLLEAGUES’ PERCEPTIONS

  • TEAM TEACHING

  • CRITICAL REFLECTION GROUPS

  • TALKING TEACHING

  • RECIPROCAL PEER REVIEW


THEORY/RESEARCH

  • Resistance

  • Diverse Learning Styles

  • Racial Formation/Identity

  • Credibility & Authenticity

  • Cognitive Development

  • Discussion Participation


AUTOBIOGRAPHY

  • Professional Development

  • Conference Attendance

  • Graduate Study

  • Learning Something New


WHY FOCUS ON IT?To Take Informed Action

  • Action Based on Evidence That Can be Cited & Considered By Others

  • Action That Can be Explained & Justified

  • Action That Has Its Assumptions Known & Checked

  • Action That Stands a Chance of Achieving Its Intended Consequence

  • Action That’s In Our Best Interest


TYPES OF ASSUMPTIONS

  • CAUSAL - purports to explain a sequence of events

  • PRESCRIPTIVE - assumptions about how we wish things to be

  • PARADIGMATIC - framing, structuring assumptions viewed as obvious, natural, common sense


ASSUMPTIONS

  • Of Power – critically reflective teaching unearths power dynamics & considers how power is used responsively or abused

  • Hegemonic – assumptions we embrace thinking they are in out best interest when in actuality they harm us


WHAT SHOULD WE REMEMBER AS TEACHERS?

  • Modeling, Modeling, Modeling

  • Resistance is Normal & Predictable

  • Critical Thinking is Often Taught Incrementally - Start Well Away From the Student’s Reasoning & Actions, Help them Learn Critical Protocols, and Over Time Move Closer and Closer to the Student’s Own Reasoning & Actions


WHEN IS IT BEST TAUGHT?

  • Beyond the Novice Level

  • After Initial Assimilation

  • When Classroom Skills and Knowledge Have to be Applied in the ‘Real’ World

  • When Independent Judgment is Called for and No Trusted Authority is at Hand


Circle of Voices

Groups of 4-5

Go round the circle - Each person has up to a minute to respond however they wish to the question – no interruptions allowed

Move into open conversation – you can only talk about what someone else said in the opening round of talk


QUESTION

When critical thinking happens in

your classroom what does it …

LOOK LIKE

SOUND LIKE

FEEL LIKE


WHEN IS IT BEST TAUGHT?

When Alternative Explanations and Interpretations are Possible

When Actions, Decisions, & Judgments Need to be Informed

When Thinking on Your Feet & Improvisation is Called For

When Venturing into New Territory With An Old Road Map


CIRCULAR RESPONSE

Groups of 8-12

Go round the circle: each person has up to a minute to talk - NO INTERRUPTIONS

What you say must respond to the previous speaker’s comments (can be a disagreement or expression of confusion)

Once all have spoken move into open conversation with no ground rules


QUESTION

HOW DO YOU MODEL CRITICAL THINKING FOR YOUR STUDENTS?


WHAT STUDENTS SAY IS HELPFUL MODELING …

  • Seeing it MODELED & Named

  • When Teachers Talk Out Loud Their Assumptions Behind Practices

  • When Teachers Do Regular Assumption Audits

  • When Teachers Say When Their Assumptions are Confirmed & Challenged


MODELING …

  • When Teachers Critique Their Own Positions - Moving Around the Classroom

  • When Teachers ‘Speak in Tongues’ at Different Stations in the Classroom

  • When Teachers Consistently Discuss Their Criteria for Judging Credibility of Authoritative Sources


MODELING …

  • When Teachers Use the CIQ to Check Their Assumptions in Front of Students

  • When Teachers Bring in Real Life Experience When Assumptions Were Confirmed & Challenged

  • In Team Teaching - When Team Members Take Different Positions and Clarify Each Others’ Assumptions


SNOWBALLING

Quiet individual reflection on a question

Share responses with another person

Pair joins another pair to form quartet

Quarter joins another quartet to form octet (and so on …)

Each time groups join up they share emerging differences, issues & questions


QUESTION

  • WHAT MOST GETS IN THE WAY OF / SABOTAGES YOUR ATTEMPTS TO DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING?


CRITICAL INCIDENT QUESTIONNAIRE

  • Most Engaged Moment as Learner

  • Most Distanced Moment as Learner

  • Most Helpful Action (Prof. or Peer)

  • Most Puzzling Action (Prof. or Peer)

  • What Surprised You Most


HOW ADMINISTERED

  • Final 5 minutes of last class of week

  • Summary provided at start of the 1st class the following week

  • Demonstrates Student Diversity

  • Early Warning Device

  • Models Critical Thinking

  • Negotiation NOT Capitulation


STUDENT PRACTICES

  • Conversational Roles : Devil’s Advocate, detective, textual focuser, evidential assessor

  • Conversational Moves : Disagree respectfully, develop a counter argument, clarify assumptions, provide authority source

  • Spot The Error: 1 per lecture or discussion

  • Assumption Audits: written or spoken

  • Critical Conversation Protocol

  • Critical Debate

  • Scenario Analysis


CRITICAL REVIEW OF LITERATURE

  • Epistemological - Truths grounded in what evidence? Fusing descriptive & prescriptive? Paradigm predetermines conclusions? Culturally skewed?

  • Experiential - Metaphors? Omissions?

  • Communicative - Whose voices are heard? Unjustified jargon?

  • Political - Whose interests are served?


QUOTES TO AFFIRM & CHALLENGE

AFFIRM

Well Expressed Empirically Accurate

Produced A New Understanding

CHALLENGE

Incomprehensible False Protocol

Empirically Inaccurate

Ethically Dubious Omitted Evidence


Stephen Brookfield Books

  • Developing Critical Thinkers (1987)

  • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (1995)

  • The Power of Critical Theory (2004)

  • Discussion as a Way of Teaching (2005, 2nd. Ed.) With Stephen Preskill

  • The Skillful Teacher (2006, 2nd. Ed.)

  • All titles published by Jossey Bass, San Francisco.

  • To order:http://stephenbrookfield.com/books.html

  • Home Page:www.stephenbrookfield.com


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