Sometimes the Technology, but Always the Thinking
Your reflection / recall sheet • What I did • My thoughts on that Dr Jeni Wilson 2007
My Learning Intentions for the Session To have you reflect on what the current level of thinking is in your class, centre, staff, school or cluster. To develop your ability to raise the level of thinking in your focus area. To develop an ongoing online community of people interested in raising the bar on the level of thinking and challenge in NZ primary and secondary schools / ECE centres through development of a wikispace for further contact. To raise and broaden the level of thought involved in the use of ICT in classrooms and ECE centres.
How can I get teachers / students to think more deeply in their teaching / learning?
Pinwheel formation (face out) Write a brief statement about where your class, centre, staff or cluster are in terms of their development of thinking. On the slips of paper write up the questions to which you want to gain answers today. Turn in to the group and share your questions. Find the commonalities. Reshape into 3-4 questions from the group. Write and place on the wonderings wall. You can also add any individual questions that didn’t get into the group questions but that you still want answered. All view the wondering wall.
ICT is about creating an effective teaching and learning environment . . . . . . where the use of information, thinking and communication tools supports the learning that is occurring.
It is about more effective teaching of curriculum and the key competencies through provision of a wider range of tools and resources.
It is about students being more involved and empowered to make more of the decisions about how they will learn and therefore they need to understand how they learn / think.
Learning to Learn Theory • Howard Gardner – Multiple Intelligenceshttp://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr054.shtmlhttp://www.tki.org.nz/r/gifted/pedagogy/gardner2_e.php • Art Costa – Habits of Mindhttp://www.habits-of-mind.net/ • Learning Styleshttp://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm • De Bono’s Thinking Hatshttp://www.edwarddebono.com/ • Bloom’s Taxonomyhttp://www.tki.org.nz/r/ict/ictpd/current_events_blooms_e.php http://www.kurwongbss.eq.edu.au/thinking/Bloom/blooms.htm
Get fit for Thinking
To become a good runner you have to run regularly. To become a good thinker you have to think regularly. You need to get “thinking fit”. 5 - 10 minutes a day will achieve it. Become a thinking fitness coach in your classroom, staffroom, centre or cluster.
Students need to have a scaffolded process to initiate their thinking, or a task to complete and resources (thinking pathways) to follow to get them there. • Make your own list of all the things that are essential to have in a restaurant. • Tell your group the third item on that list. • Design a restaurant that does not have that component. • Share your restaurant with the class.
So what do you do when you are thinking? What is going on in the brain? When we think we . . .
What If Key Ryan's Thinkers Keys Website link
What If Key What if Little Red Riding Hood had been a boy on a motorbike. Retell the story.
What If Key What thinking processes did you use in this activity? What was going on in your brain? Wait time!
Question Key Here is the answer. Make up 10 interesting questions that might have been asked. Midnight That's history. I dropped it. In the bath. Toothpaste
Question Key Now design a question where this could be the only correct answer. Glass What thinking processes did you use in this activity? What was going on in your brain?
Commonality Key What might these two things have in common? Chalk and cheese Roses and motorbikes Tennis and parachuting A parking metre and a painting
Alternative Key Work out three ways to clean your teeth without a toothbrush. How could you run a school athletics sports without using any athletics gear? Work out three ways that an orchard can sell its produce without selling the fruit. Work out three ways to have tidy lawns without using a lawnmower.
Brainstorm Key You have two minutes to brainstorm ideas for using the Brick Wall Key in the classroom. The Brick Wall Key Make a statement which could not generally be questioned or disputed, and then try to break down the wall by outlining other ways of dealing with the situation. Eg. Governments need to collect taxes in order to provide necessary services.
SCAMPER SUBSTITUTE Think about substituting part of your product/process for something else. By looking for something to substitute you can often come up with new ideas. Typical questions: What can I substitute to make an improvement? What if I swap this for that and see what happens? How can I substitute the place, time, materials or people? COMBINE Think about combining two or more parts of your probortunity to achieve a different product/process or to enhance synergy. Typical questions: What materials, features, processes, people, products or components can I combine? Where can I build synergy? ADAPT Think about which parts of the product/process could be adapted to remove the probortunity or think how you could change the nature of the product/process. Typical questions: What part of the product could I change? And in exchange for what? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component? MODIFY/DISTORT Think about changing part or all of the current situation, or to distort it in an unusual way. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways of working, you are often prompted into an alternative product/process. Typical questions: What happens if I warp or exaggerate a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the process in some way?
PUT TO OTHER PURPOSES Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/ product/process to other purposes, or think of what you could reuse from somewhere else in order to solve your own probortunity. You might think of another way of solving your own probortunity or finding another market for your product. Typical questions: What other market could I use this product in? Who or what else might be able to use it? ELIMINATE Think of what might happen if you eliminated various parts of the product/process/probortunity and consider what you might do in that situation. This often leads you to consider different ways of tackling the probortunity. Typical questions: What would happen if I removed a component or part of it? How else would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it? REVERSE Think of what you would do if part of your probortunity/product/process worked in reverse or was done in a different order. What would you do if you had to do it in reverse? You can use this to see your probortunity from different angles and come up with new ideas. Typical questions: What if I did it the other way round? What if I reverse the order it is done or the way it is used? How would I achieve the opposite effect? http://www.brainstorming.co.uk/tutorials/scampertutorial.html
Eliminate: Design a train that has no wheels. How could you build a house without using any nails or screws? How could you send a no cost message to someone on the other side of the world when that person does not have a computer?
Reverse: Tell your favourite fairy tale to a partner by starting at the end and working back through the story. Describe in reverse how to boil an egg. Unpack how your students could find information on the internet and use it to solve a problem.
Your Task • You have been commissioned to create an advertisement for a new product about to be released on the market. • In groups: • Use Scamper or Ryan’s Keys to help you decide what your product will be. • Sketch or make a prototype of your product on computer. • Create an advertisement to present to the rest of the class. • NB. You have thirty minutes to complete the task and be ready to present!
Make a list of different types of thinking. • Individually use post its. • Share and arrange in groups of commonality • Move around and look at the other tables using the Mark My Words form
Reflective thinking time • What are my key understandings? • How can I develop thinking fitness in my focus group? • How might I develop thinking fitness in our school or centre? • What adaptations will I need to make to tailor this to my focus group, school or centre? • What resources might I need?
http://thinkingworkshop.wikispaces.com • To work in a wiki: • Click on “Edit this Page” at the upper left • Type into the page - use tables, bullet points etc to help format the layout. • Click “Save” on the lower rightExtra for experts • To insert pictures use the tree icon • To insert movies uploaded into Teacher Tube use the TV icon, select Teacher Tube and paste code.
Professional Reading and Research for the wondering wall questions. Expert Jig Saw Readings Assemble in home teams of 4. Allocate the readings. Assemble in expert teams - sit facing out, read the article and highlight key points.Turn into the circle when completed and discuss the key points of the article. On the relevant wiki page, write a group bullet pointed summary of the areas that the team believe should be shared (NB. You need to reach consensus so that all team members share the same information.) Plan an example of how you could use this thinking in your class, centre, staff meeting or cluster workshop. Return to your home team and present the information to your group referring to the wiki page as you go.
How can these help the development of thinking in your focus group? • What are my key understandings? • How can I develop knowledge of thinking theory and application in my focus group? • How might I integrate thinking in our school or centre? • What resources might I need? How will I access or fund these? How can my students create resources to support their own thinking?
How can that strategy (expert jig saw) help you with thinking in your class?
Thinking Through Better Questions
Developing questions that encourage deep thinking • Common Teacher Statements • Students can’t ask questions • Student questions are routine, low level • Students give answers they think you want to hear • Students are lazy thinkers - they don’t think deeply. • Would you give up if they were not at the right reading level? • Do you think they could ask good questions if . . . .? Dr Jeni Wilson 2007
Teachers and questions • Teachers talk too much and ask too many questions • About 2 questions per minute (300-400 per day) • Nearly 40% managerial questions • Mostly short, closed questions • 53% stand alone (not as part of a sequence) • Students need to be talking more • Ask fewer questions as they get older • Mostly procedural (not thinking) Dr Jeni Wilson 2007
Examples of Student Questions • Is vaseline solid or liquid? (NE) • How does God make skin around fruit? (Yr 1) • Why were the English so cruel to the aborigines? (Yr 3/4) • Do people have the right to change our destiny? (Yr 5) • What can people do to help peace but not become a hippy? (Yr 5/6) • Why don’t the rich help kids in poverty? (Yr 7) Dr Jeni Wilson 2007
So . . . . • Expect students to ask and answer their own questions • Model a range of questions and make the process explicit • Plan in to their work the development of student questions • Explicitly teach developing questions • Set the criteria e.g. • Open ended • Focus inquiry • Non Judgemental • Have intellectual bite - Higher Order Thinking questions • Have emotive force • Aunthentic contexts Dr Jeni Wilson 2007
Scaffolding the Asking of Questions • Use your thinking knowledge to prepare graphic organisers for developing questions e.g. Blooms, De Bono’s hats, Thinkers Keys, SCUMPS • Use Jamie McKenzies Toolkit - arrange your questions under the headings and see what is missing - now develop questions to fill these areas. http://fno.org/nov97/toolkit.html • Use Harpaz & Lefsteins Fertile Questions to fertilise or enrich your questions. http://www.inquiringmind.co.nz/the_task.htm
Jamie McKenzie - Questioning Toolkit http://fno.org/nov97/toolkit.html Essential Questions These are questions which touch our hearts and souls. They are central to our lives. They help to define what it means to be human. Most important thought during our lives will center on such essential questions. * What does it mean to be a good friend? * What kind of friend shall I be? * Who will I include in my circle of friends? * How shall I treat my friends? * How do I cope with the loss of a friend? * What can I learn about friends and friendships from the novels we read in school? * How can I be a better friend? If we were to draw a cluster diagram of the Questioning Toolkit, Essential Questions would be at the center of all the other types of questions. All the other questions and questioning skills serve the purpose of "casting light upon" or illuminating Essential Questions. Most Essential Questions are interdisciplinary in nature. They cut across the lines created by schools and scholars to mark the terrain of departments and disciplines. Essential Questions probe the deepest issues confronting us . . . complex and baffling matters which elude simple answers: Life - Death - Marriage - Identity - Purpose - Betrayal - Honor - Integrity - Courage - Temptation - Faith - Leadership - Addiction - Invention - Inspiration.
Subsidiary Questions These are questions which combine to help us build answers to our Essential Questions. Big questions spawn families of smaller questions which lead to insight. The more skillful we and our students become at formulating and then categorizing Subsidiary Questions, the more success we will have constructing new knowledge.
Hypothetical Questions - These are questions designed to explore possibilities and test relationships. They usually project a theory or an option out into the future, wondering what might happen if . . . Suppose the earth had no moon. What if the South had won the Civil War? Hypothetical Questions are especially helpful when trying to decide between a number of choices or when trying to solve a problem. When we began to generate questions which would help us decide whether or not to offer e-mail accounts to our students, we asked . . What's the worst that might happen? What are the potential benefits? Hypothetical Questions are useful when we want to see if our hunches, our suppositions and our hypotheses have any merit. Telling Questions lead us (like a smart bomb) right to the target. They are built with such precision that they provide sorting and sifting during the gathering or discovery process. They focus the investigation so that we gather only the very specific evidence and information we require, only those facts which "cast light upon" or illuminate the main question at hand. In schools which give students e-mail accounts, what is the rate of suspension for abusing the privilege? In schools which give students e-mail accounts, what percentage of students lose their privilege during each of the first ten months? second ten months? The better the list of telling questions generated by the researcher, the more efficient and pointed the subsequent searching and gathering process. A search strategy may be profoundly shifted by the development of telling questions.
Planning Questions lift us above the action of the moment and require that we think about how we will structure our search, where we will look and what resources we might use such as time and information. Too many researchers, be they student or adult, make the mistake of burying their noses in their studies and their sources. They have trouble seeing the forest, so close do they stand to the pine needles. They are easily lost in a thicket of possibilities. The effective researcher develops a plan of action in response to Planning Questions like these: Sources * Who has done the best work on this subject? * Which medium (Internet, CD-ROM, electronic periodical collection, scholarly book, etc.) is likely to provide the most reliable and relevant information with optimal efficiency? * Which search tool or index will speed the discovery process? Sequence * What are all of the tasks which need completing in order to . . . ? * What is the best way to organize these tasks over time? How much time is available? Which tasks come first, and then . . .? * Which tasks depend upon others or cannot be completed until others are finished? Pacing * How much time is available for this project? * How long does it take to complete each of the tasks required? * How much time can be applied to each task? * How should the plan be changed to match the time resources?
Organizing Questions make it possible to structure our findings into categories which will allow us to construct meaning. Each time we come upon valuable findings, we extract the relevant data and place them where they belong. Our challenge is teaching students to paraphrase, condense and then place their findings thoughtfully rather than cutting and pasting huge blocks of text which have been unread, undigested and undistilled.
Probing Questions take us below the surface to the "heart of the matter.” When it comes to information-seeking, the convergence is established by creating a logical intersection of search words and key concepts, the combination of which is most likely to identify relevant sites and articles. Probing Questions allow us to push search strategies well beyond the broad topical search to something far more pointed and powerful. And when we first encounter an information "site," we rarely find the treasures lying out in the open within easy reach. We may need to "feel for the vein" much as the lab technician tests before drawing blood. This "feeling" is part logic, part prior knowledge, part intuition and part trial-and-error. Sorting & Sifting Questions enable us to manage Info-Glut and Info-Garbage - the hundreds of hits and pages and files which often rise to the surface when we conduct a search - culling and keeping only the information which is pertinent and useful. Relevancy is the primary criterion employed to determine which pieces of information are saved and which are tossed overboard. We create a "net" of questions which allows all but the most important information to slide away. We then place the good information with the questions it illuminates. * Which parts of this data are worth keeping? * Will this information shed light on any of my questions?" * Is this information reliable? * How much of this information do I need to place in my database? * How can I summarize the best information and ideas? * Are there any especially good quotations to paste in the abstract field?
Clarification Questions convert fog and smog into meaning. A collection of facts and opinions does not always make sense by itself. Hits do not equal TRUTH. A mountain of information may do more to block understanding than promote it. Defining words and concepts is central to this clarification process. * What do they mean by . . . ?" * How did they gather their data? Was it a reliable and valid process? Do they show the data and evidence they claim to have in support of their conclusions? Was is substantial enough to justify their conclusions? Strategic Questions focus on Ways to Make Meaning. The researcher must switch from tool to tool and strategy to strategy while passing through unfamiliar territory. Close associated with the Planning Questions formulated early on in this process, Strategic Questions arise during the actual hunting, gathering, inferring, synthesizing and ongoing questioning process. * What do I do next? * How can I best approach this next step?, this next challenge? this next frustration? * What thinking tool is most apt to help me here? * What have I done when I've been here before? What worked or didn't work? What have others tried before me? * What type of question would help me most with this task? * How do I need to change my research plan? Elaborating Questions extend and stretch the import of what we are finding. They take the explicit and see where it might lead. They also help us to plum below surface to implicit (unstated) meanings. * What does this mean? * What might it mean if certain conditions and circumstances changed? * How could I take this farther? What is the logical next step? What is missing? What needs to be filled in? * Reading between the lines, what does this REALLY mean? * What are the implied or suggested meanings?
Unanswerable Questions are the ultimate challenge. Inventive Questions turn our findings inside out and upside down. They distort, modify, adjust, rearrange, alter, twist and turn the bits and pieces we have picked up along the way until we can shout "Aha!" and proclaim the discovery of something brand new. Provocative Questions are meant to push, to challenge and to throw conventional wisdom off balance. They give free rein to doubt, disbelief and skepticism. Irrelevant Questions take us far afield, distract us and threaten to divert us from the task at hand. And that is their beauty! Divergent Questions use existing knowledge as a base from which to "kick off" like a swimmer making a turn. Irreverent Questions explore territory which is "off-limits" or taboo. They challenge far more than conventional wisdom. They hold no respect for authority or institutions or myths. They leap over, under or through walls and rules and regulations. e.g. Are schools the best places for students to learn? Corporations like IBM have learned that today's heretic - the one with the courage, the tenacity and the brash conviction to question the way things are "spozed to be" - often turns out to be a prophet of sorts. The Emperor's New Clothes is the classic story showing what happens when Irreverent Questions are discouraged and obedience, subservience and compliance are prized. The emperor parades naked. The corporation clings blindly to old beliefs.
Fertile Questions • Yoram Harpaz and Adam Lefstein in their 'Communities of Thinking' article advocate the use of fertile questions. These have the following characteristics: • Open - there are several different or competing answers. • Undermining - makes the learner question their basic assumptions. • Rich - Cannot be answered without careful and lengthy research. Usually able to be broken into subsidiary questions. • Connected - relevant to the learners. • Charged - has an ethical dimension • Practical - Is able to be researched given the available resources. Use these characteristics to fertilise your questions
What methods of energy generation should we use in NZ? • Fertilise the question • Open - there are several different or competing answers. Yes • Undermining - makes the learner question their basic assumptions. No • Rich - Cannot be answered without careful and lengthy research. Usually able to be broken into subsidiary questions. Yes • Connected - relevant to the learners. No • Charged - has an ethical dimension No • Practical - Is able to be researched given the available resources. Yes • How could you make the question undermining, connected and charged?