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HELPING ADVISEES BECOME CRITICAL THINKERS. Stephen Brookfield Distinguished University Professor, University of St. Thomas www.stephenbrookfield.com Tweet: #tc5815. Who I am as an Advisor. Very much framed by my experiences as an advisee & student Poor exam performances

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helping advisees become critical thinkers

HELPING ADVISEES BECOME CRITICAL THINKERS

Stephen Brookfield

Distinguished University Professor,

University of St. Thomas

www.stephenbrookfield.com

Tweet: #tc5815

who i am as an advisor
Who I am as an Advisor
  • Very much framed by my experiences as an advisee & student
  • Poor exam performances
  • Trusting my Advisor
someone who thinks critically can
Someone Who Thinks Critically Can …
  • Identify Assumptions Informing Thoughts & Actions
  • Check Assumptions for Accuracy & Validity
  • View Ideas & Actions from Alternative Perspectives
  • Take Informed Action
examples
Examples
  • Depression – caught in Patriarchy
  • Leadership – “we are all leaders”
  • Advisement – listening
  • Advisement – responsiveness
  • Meetings – Circle
  • Racism – I’m a good White
types of assumptions
Types of Assumptions
  • CAUSAL – A circle creates a relaxed climate for participation that makes peers feel respected & equalizes power
  • PRESCRIPTIVE – Good advisors model careful listening & create a relaxed environment
  • PARADIGMATIC – I can control the relationship / can determine what happens
what do students say most helps them think critically modeling
What do students say most helps them think critically? - MODELING
  • Advisors (& teachers) model the process of clarifying & checking their own assumptions
  • Talking out loud why they are asking certain questions, focusing on certain information, & how they see students’ problems
  • Providing examples & analogs from their own experience that parallel the student’s
  • Having 2 or more advisors conduct a critical conversation about a problem they have
what do students say most helps them think critically questioning
What do students say most helps them think critically? - QUESTIONING
  • Questions that demonstrate the advisor is trying to see a problem situation in the way the student is experiencing it
  • Questions that develop organically – arise out of earlier comments from advisee
  • Questions that are open-ended, ‘Clearness Committee’ questions – you don’t know the answer & learn along with the advisee
  • Questions that encourage the advisee to recognize & check her own assumptions
what do students say most helps them think critically peer feedback
What do students say most helps them think critically? – PEER FEEDBACK
  • Small groups of peers who have similar problems & experiences
  • “I’m not alone / not crazy”
  • “I’m not an impostor”
  • “My cultural suicide fears are normal & predictable”
  • “My emotional crashes are shared – roadrunning”
so what should we remember
So What Should We Remember?
  • Model for advisees how we think critically about OUR problems & experiences – not just theirs
  • Try to ask questions that are open ended, organic, & show we’re listening carefully
  • Create & encourage peer group communication, networks, communities
resources
RESOURCES
  • www.stephenbrookfield.com - STEAL!!
  • Teaching for Critical Thinking (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012)
  • The Skillful Teacher (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,2006)
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