The lessons start with reading and discussion around the topics and then go in to more depth to look behind the information and research the topic area using a range of digital research and presentations tools.
A higher-order thinker is a critical thinker. What are the attributes of a critical thinker? In The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Richard Paul and Linda Elder describe a well-cultivated critical thinker as someone who: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing their assumptions, implications and practical consequences as need be; andcommunicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Ten Disciplines of a Learner We decided to continue the conversation on this topic at a faculty meeting. Several meetings later we had a new report card. We decided to give two grades and average them—one for “Learning,” the other for “Mastery.”
Sara might get an “F” in mastery and an “A” in learning, culminating in a “C” for the course. To be rigorous we picked ten observable behaviors and named them “Disciplines of a Learner:”
"Many people assume that superior intelligence or ability is a key to success. But more than three decades of research shows that an overemphasis on intellect or talent—and the implication that such traits are innate and fixed—leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unmotivated to learn.
"Teaching people to have a “growth mind-set,” which encourages a focus on “process” rather than on intelligence or talent, produces high achievers in school and in life.
"Parents and teachers can engender a growth mind-set in children by praising them for their persistence or strategies (rather than for their intelligence), by telling success stories that emphasize hard work and love of learning, and by teaching them about the brain as a learning machine."
Jim Lerman's insight: Dweck's mindset get backed by a leading scientific journal.
The terms 'critical' and 'reflection' are sorely misunderstood in education. Being critical is often misinterpreted as being negative. 'Reflection' is also frequently distorted to mean "reflect on what you are doing wrong". Too often the students that we teach give negative feedback when asked to be critical. So to counter act this, educators initiate strategies such as '2 stars and a wish' and SWNI (strengths, weaknesses, new ideas). These strategies are designed to make reflective practices a more positive experience for students. It teaches them that being critically reflective is not just a negative activity, that it is important to be positive and give feedback to help improve or make something better. Learn more: - http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Criticism
"Most tertiary institutions have listed among their graduate attributes the ability to think critically. This seems a desirable outcome, but what exactly does it mean to think critically and how do you get students to do it?
The problem is that critical thinking is the Cheshire Cat of educational curricula – it is hinted at in all disciplines but appears fully formed in none. As soon as you push to see it in focus, it slips away..."
Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating concepts, processes, procedures, and principles, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). It is most often used when designing educational, training, and learning processes.
Bloom saw the original Taxonomy as more than a measurement tool. He believed it could serve as a:
common language about learning goals to facilitate communication across persons, subject matter, and grade levels; basis for determining for a particular course or curriculum the specific meaning of broad educational goals, such as those found in the currently prevalent national, state, and local standards; means for determining the congruence of educational objectives, activities, and assessments in a unit, course, or curriculum; and panorama of the range of educational possibilities against which the limited breadth and depth of any particular educational course or curriculum could be contrasted.
The original Taxonomy provided carefully developed definitions for each of the six major categories in the cognitive domain. The categories were Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. With the exception of Application, each of these was broken into subcategories. The categories were ordered from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract. Further, it was assumed that the original Taxonomy represented a cumulative hierarchy; that is, mastery of each simpler category was prerequisite to mastery of the next more complex one.
Lorin Anderson, a former student of Bloom, and David Krathwohl revisited the cognitive domain in the mid-nineties and made some changes. This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy improved the usability of it by using action words. The Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Action Verbs infographic includes some action words that are useful in writing learning objectives.
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