A sotl collaboration on teaching the habits of critical inquiry
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 25

A SoTL Collaboration on Teaching the Habits of Critical Inquiry PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

A SoTL Collaboration on Teaching the Habits of Critical Inquiry. Rachel Nisselson, Nancy Chick, Lily Claiborne, Andrea Hearn, & Catesby Yant Vanderbilt University. www.uwlax.edu / sotl / lsp. Who Are We?. Initially, 6 members

Download Presentation

A SoTL Collaboration on Teaching the Habits of Critical Inquiry

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

A sotl collaboration on teaching the habits of critical inquiry

A SoTL Collaboration on Teaching the Habits of Critical Inquiry

Rachel Nisselson, Nancy Chick,Lily Claiborne, Andrea Hearn, & Catesby Yant

Vanderbilt University

Www uwlax edu sotl lsp


Who are we

Who Are We?

Initially, 6 members

  • Commonalities: pre-major Academic Advisors, instructors of First-Year Writing Seminars

  • Differences: academic departments, content of courses

    Later: Nancy Chick, Center for Teaching

Sotl commons conference

SoTL Commons Conference

March 27-29, 2013 Savannah, GA

A sotl collaboration on teaching the habits of critical inquiry

Our project allowed us to reflect on a cross-disciplinary question:

What are the important habits of mind that are necessary for academic inquiry?

think / pair / share

Habits of academic inquiry

Habits of Academic Inquiry

Before the study, our group came up with the following:

  • disciplinary: working within the standards of a formal discipline

  • communal: engaging with shared problems or ideas

  • evidentiary: appealing to evidence for argumentative claims

  • knowledge-based: aiming to contribute to collective understanding

  • critical: maintaining a critical perspective

  • imaginative: attempting to imagine new ways of approaching problems

The study design

The Study Design

  • Three iterations of the lesson

  • First-Year Writing Seminarsin Anthropology, Philosophy, & Geology

    • 15 students in each class

  • Third week of classes

  • Several observers in each classroom to record classroom events

Learning goals of the lesson

Learning Goals of the Lesson

  • Students begin to understand AI as a concept/habit

  • Students recognize elements of AI

  • Students begin to conceptualize effective vs. ineffective AI

    • Long term: Students start to see our classroom tasks as AI and see themselves (and authors of everything they read) as academic inquirers

The lesson

The Lesson

Pre class homework

Pre-Class Homework

You have been assigned two texts for class. Read them not just for the content of the articles (What are they about?) but also for their discursive strategies and effects (What and how [well] do they argue?).

Use the two questions below to guide your reading and annotate them in the article:

  • At what moments in the article are you convinced?

  • What moments in the article are unconvincing?

In class activities

In-Class Activities

Instructor introduces lesson on “academic inquiry.”

For small groups, assign roles: note-taker, time keeper, reporter, task-master.

  • Small Group Meeting 1

    • Students each share one moment and why.

    • Group chooses one moment to share with large group.

In class activities1

In-Class Activities

  • Large Group Discussion 1

    • Each group shares chosen moment.

    • Class and instructor create list of elements of academic inquiry.

In class activities2

In-Class Activities

  • Individual re-annotation

  • Small Group Meeting 2

    • Each student shares one moment with group.

      • Do all of the moments your group discusses in this second article fit within the terms of academic inquiry on the board or have you found something new or different?

      • If it is new or different, consider: what is happening in this passage? What’s effective or ineffective about it?  What would you call it?

    • Choose one moment to share with large group.

  • Large Group Discussion 2

    • Class and instructor add to list of elements of academic inquiry.



Write a one- to two-page take-home reflection that addresses these questions:

Based on today’s class, how would you define or explain academic inquiry?

Which of the two texts do you find a stronger example of academic inquiry and why?

Data collected

Data Collected

  • Classroom observations (small and large group)

  • Lists of elements of academic inquiry from board

  • Annotated articles

  • Homework reflection papers

How we met goals

How We Met Goals

Pedagogical Goals (Anthropology)

  • Using Disney films as a lens to analyze American constructions of family, race, gender

  • Develop writing skills and habits

    Why This Worked

  • Students engaged with ideas, rather than merely reading for content

  • Began to realize that evidence can be interpreted differently

  • Students returned to the A.I. terms throughout semester

How we met goals1

How We Met Goals

Pedagogical Goals (Philosophy)

  • Show philosophers engaged in problem solving, and invite students to become philosophical problem solvers.

  • Introduce students to philosophy as a historical, social, and embodied discipline.

  • Learn some basic trans-disciplinary writing and thinking skills that they will need to be successful college students.

    Why This Worked (not an exhaustive list)

  • Helped students see themselves as participants in academic inquiry: they saw parallels between the moves the authors made in inquiry and their own inquiry into the texts.

  • Identified students’ preconceptions about philosophy as a form of academic inquiry, allowing me to address these preconceptions in future classes.

How we met goals2

How We Met Goals

Pedagogical Goals (Geology)

  • Understand scientific process and think critically about science

  • Develop writing skills and habits

    Why This Worked

  • Recognized difference in opinion and idea backed up by evidence

  • Identified and evaluated efficacy of tools for writing

  • Empowered to think critically when reading science



“Creating curricula that help students to develop an awareness of their inquiry process and an ability to reflect on it could enable students to improve their learning expertise while also acquiring subject matter expertise.”

(White & Frederiksen, 1998, p. 4)

Resnick, 1987

Collins & Ferguson, 1993

White & Frederiksen, 1998

Pintrich, 2002

Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000

Tanner, 2012

et al.

Looking at data

Looking at Data

Looking at the student quotes, consider the following question:

What are some of the teaching & learning issues that emerge from your analysis of these student responses to the lesson about AI?

  • FFT: What kinds of comments would students make in other disciplines?



Thank you

Thank you!

  • Login