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Beyond the Comfort Zone: 6 Ways to Build Independent Thinking

Beyond the Comfort Zone: 6 Ways to Build Independent Thinking | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Edutopia blogger Judy Willis offers six suggestions for pushing students beyond their comfort zone, exercising their brains' executive functions, and developing healthy habits of independent thinking.
Charles Fischer's insight:

A great article to get students truly thinking, not just parroting what others say. Here's a quick summary:


"One way you can help your students shift from blindly following instructions and memorizing single right answers is to help them recognize their successful use of executive functions throughout their learning experiences."

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Critical thinking and close reading through Socratic Seminar. www.CharlesAmesFischer.com Author of Beyond Infinity http://amzn.com/B00E3DJXAS
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The 7 Skills Students Must Have For The Future

The 7 Skills Students Must Have For The Future | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
A powerful talk by Tony Wagner attempts to uncover the 7 skills students must have in order to prepared for the future.
The post The 7 Skills Students Must Have For The Future appeared first on Edudemic.
Charles Fischer's insight:

All seven of these skills can be practiced through Socratic Seminar. The first, critical thinking and problem-solving can be achieved through a combination of a quality text and provocative questions. The second, collaboration across networks and leading by influence, can be achieved by incorporating technology. The third, agility and adaptability, starts with listening carefully to others and appreciating other viewpoints. The fourth, initiative and entrepreneurialism, begins with being brave enough to speak your mind in front of a group of peers. The fifth, effective oral and written communication, is developed through deepening one's understandings through dialogue. The sixth, accessing and analyzing information, can be practiced through weighing evidence and citing sources. And the last, curiosity and imagination, can be fostered by students learning to ask their own questions.

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Ruben Bravo's curator insight, July 13, 2013 1:35 PM

To build the furutre we want for our family and  for our communities we need to begin investing in the right mix of skills that will steer us through the path of development.

Bradley McClure's curator insight, December 4, 2013 6:29 PM

Tony Wagner's book, "Creating Innovators" has strongly influenced what I know about teaching and why it is important that we understand how the world is changing. The seven skills that he mentions includes critical thinking and problem solving, along with six other vaulable skills. It would be a shame for us as teachers to perpetuate teaching without putting these seven skills at the core of our purpose. Critical thinking and Problem solving are connected to the other seven, particularly in light of the new P21 Framework that is beginning to take off in the world of education. 

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16 skills students need to learn today to thrive tomorrow

16 skills students need to learn today to thrive tomorrow | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Will classes in curiosity, problem-solving and creative thinking soon be on the curriculum? Our latest report thinks it should.
Charles Fischer's insight:
Another great article on the thinking skills that students need to be the most successful in the workplace. As with other lists I have seen, Socratic seminar simultaneously serves many of these skills. In the 2015 list, seminars address six of the ten skills. In the predicted 2020 list, Socratic seminars six out of ten as well. 
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When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges

When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
By identifying thinking routines for students, teachers can help deepen metacognitive skills that are applicable to all areas of life.
Charles Fischer's insight:
An excellent article on the importance of thinking routines. Socratic seminar, of course, fits in perfectly!
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Poetry Pairing | 'Too Much'

Poetry Pairing | 'Too Much' | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
This Poetry Pairing presents Tyler Ford’s poem “Too Much” alongside a 2015 Op-Ed column, “From Caitlyn Jenner to a Brooklyn High School,” by Nicholas Kristof.
Charles Fischer's insight:
Poetry pairings are always worth considering for Socratic seminar!
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Text to Text | 'Antigone' and Noche Flamenca’s ‘Antigona’

Text to Text | 'Antigone' and Noche Flamenca’s  ‘Antigona’ | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it

In this Text to Text, we focus on pairing Sophocles’ work — called “the most powerful political play ever written” — with the work of a contemporary Spanish flamenco dance company.

Charles Fischer's insight:

These text to texts are always good!

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6 Strategies for Encouraging Critical Thinking

Enjoy these 6 strategies for encouraging the development of critical thinking skills in your classrooms.
Charles Fischer's insight:

One of the strategies is a key component in Socratic seminar: "Encourage collaboration, if not just in your classroom with other students, but also with the surrounding community and all the interesting professionals that are at its heart." Understand that collaborating with other students is essential in 21st-Century skills.

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4 Essential Rules Of 21st Century Learning

4 Essential Rules Of 21st Century Learning | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
4 Essential Rules Of 21st Century Learning
by Jennifer Rita Nichols, TeachThought Intern
The term “21st century” has become an integral part of educational thinking and planning for the future.
Charles Fischer's insight:

The first two, student-centered and collaborative, are certainly part of the Socratic seminar experience. They are student-centered in the sense that the students can pose the questions and follow up questions that are of interest to them. They could even choose the texts. The other two on the list, contextualized and real world, can be a part of the seminar experience as well. Seminars can be most effective when they are part of a larger project or theme.

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Are You Critical Thinkers... or Just Critical? - Huffington Post

Are You Critical Thinkers... or Just Critical? - Huffington Post | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Fill the room with critical spirits and you can watch the creative oxygen leave the room. At the very least, no one is really listening. After a little while, no one is really talking either.
Charles Fischer's insight:

The difference between being critical and critical thinking is definitely a good topic for discussion with students! 

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Why Questions Are More Important Than Answers

Why Questions Are More Important Than Answers | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Why Questions Are More Important Than Answers
by Terry Heick
Clocks and old watches are miracles.
Charles Fischer's insight:
I love this article! It is concise and gets right to the heart of the importance of asking questions and teaching students about different types of questions.
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Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Elementary Students

Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Elementary Students | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Here are some wonderful tools and strategies for developing critical thinking skills with your elementary school students.
Charles Fischer's insight:

This is a great structure for younger students in particular. The six question words allow students to analyze nearly anything. For older students, I would certainly add more questions to drive the inquiry even deeper. For example: WHEN: "What was the context in which they said it?" WHY: "Were they trying to inform or persuade?" HOW: "What medium was used to deliver the message? How does that affect the message?"

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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. How do you create a culture of using questioning in the classroom?
Charles Fischer's insight:

We have to teach students how to ask different types of questions as well. Many questions asked in schools are either-or, yes-no questions that require little thinking. 

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Critical Thinking with Literature: It’s Problem-Solving | The Great Books Foundation

Critical Thinking with Literature: It’s Problem-Solving | The Great Books Foundation | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Critical Thinking with Literature: It’s Problem-Solving http://t.co/ywk3R6FD1z
Charles Fischer's insight:

The Great Books choices for short stories and texts are amazing. I have used a number of them K-12 and have never been disappointed by the quality. With a good question, the dialogue produces powerful critical thinking.

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Fuel Creativity in the Classroom With Divergent Thinking

Fuel Creativity in the Classroom With Divergent Thinking | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Teachers can inspire out-of-box thinking for students by using problem-based learning, art, music, and inquiry-based feedback.
Charles Fischer's insight:

Socratic seminar is ideal for divergent thinking! In a safe, inquiry-based setting with complex texts, students must literally make meaning out of difficult ideas. Along the way, they will form claims, text hypotheses, and generate new ideas. 

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The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
These are the top 10 skills you will need in the workplace in 2020.
Charles Fischer's insight:
Socratic seminar is a perfect tool for these important skills. On the 2020 list, seminars help students directly practice 7 of the 10 skills - simultaneously!
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200 Tips and Tools to Boost Creative Thinking Skills

200 Tips and Tools to Boost Creative Thinking Skills | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
creative boost? Here are some of our most popular articles on creativity and the skills involved in creative thinking. Use it yourself or share it with others
Charles Fischer's insight:
A great collection of tools and ideas for thinking!
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50 Questions To Promote Metacognition In Students

50 Questions To Promote Metacognition In Students | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
50 Questions To Help Students Think About What They Think
Charles Fischer's insight:
A fantastic list of thinking questions. This would be a great resource to print out and walk around the classroom with!
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What Kind of Group Work Encourages the Most Original Thinking?

What Kind of Group Work Encourages the Most Original Thinking? | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
In Adam Grant's book, Originals, he writes that taking risks and embracing curiosity can lead to original ideas. So how can teachers and parents use his
Charles Fischer's insight:
This is a great interview with Adam Grant, author of Originals. I really enjoyed the part where he said that teachers could do more with "conditional thinking." In his example, instead of saying '"This is a book", you could say "This might be a book." I can't wait to try something like that with my students. What I like about that is that students will be immediately pressed to define things: What is a book? What makes something a book as opposed to a magazine or pamphlet? And so on.
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Poetry Pairing | 'Mistletoe'

Poetry Pairing | 'Mistletoe' | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it

December’s Poetry Pairing features Walter de la Mare’s poem “Mistletoe” and Olivia Judson’s 2014 Opinion essay, “The Hemiparasite Season.”

Charles Fischer's insight:

The poetry pairings make great texts for Socratic seminars!

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The Right Way To Implement Essential Questions

The Right Way To Implement Essential Questions | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
by Grant Wiggins, Ph.D, AuthenticEducation.org Ed note: We’re continuing to go back and share some of Grant’s best and most useful posts. This one on...
The post The Right Way To Implement Essential Questions appeared first on TeachThought.
Charles Fischer's insight:

A great post! Socratic seminar is a great way to explore essential questions in deep and meaningful ways. Set aside some time for a seminar and be amazed at how exploring essential questions can lead to more questions and more questions...

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7 Key Characteristics Of Better Learning Feedback

7 Key Characteristics Of Better Learning Feedback | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
7 Key Characteristics Of Better Learning Feedback
by Grant Wiggins, Authentic Education
On May 26, 2015, Grant Wiggins passed away.
Charles Fischer's insight:

These characteristics of better feedback apply to Socratic seminar, of course. This means that facilitators should help students set goals for themselves and then give the students effective feedback toward those goals. This can be the major task for the outer circle participants.

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Beware of These Common Cognitive Biases | Pearson's Critical Thinking Blog

Beware of These Common Cognitive Biases | Pearson's Critical Thinking Blog | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
If critical thinking was easy, everyone would do it. Every day we are faced with cognitive challenges to effective thinking. From emotions to unchecked
Charles Fischer's insight:

This is a fantastic resource for critical thinking! I have assigned jobs for 7th and 8th graders to look for similar biases and barriers to thinking. Once they practice, they get really good at discovering critical thinking and logic problems!

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Making the Leap to Socratic Seminars

A 6th grade teacher says that carefully introducing her students to the protocols of academic discussion and inquiry has led to improvements in engagement and learning.
Charles Fischer's insight:

This is a great summary of how to introduce Socratic seminar! The activity to focus on active listening is a fantastic idea, something that will make a huge difference in the students' abilities to dialogue.

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Critical Thinking: Analytics is a Tool, Not a Crutch

Critical Thinking: Analytics is a Tool, Not a Crutch | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Critical Thinking: Analytics is a Tool, Not a Crutch.
Charles Fischer's insight:

Socratic seminar is the perfect vehicle to help students practice analyzing data and data sets, mainly because a large amount of data allows for multiple conclusions and numerous "right" answers. To get started, many students would enjoy analyzing sports data for their favorite teams or players. They could also look at their own data sets to help set goals for themselves.

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Questioning Toolkit

Charles Fischer's insight:

This is a great resource to explore types of questions. Students should be taught various types (whether these or a different system), so that they can develop better inquiry skills. The right question asked at the optimal time will reveal amazing discoveries and insights. As Einstein said, " If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes."

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Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson?

Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson? | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Students engage more passionately when trying to answer a question that interests them. Here are ten opening questions that have inspired this kind of learning.
Charles Fischer's insight:

Loved this quick article! My favorite lines were: "Our minds are set up to not care about answers unless we have a question. The greater the question, the more compelling it is, the more we want the answer. We learn best when questions come before answers." 


I think it's even possible that learning can't take place without a question, whether consciously or unconsciously. It should not be the teacher's job or the curriculum's job to always provide the questions. We must teach students to ask their own questions - about everything!

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7 Tenets of Creative Thinking

7 Tenets of Creative Thinking | Socratic Seminar | Scoop.it
Michael Michalko explains that everyone is an artist and that it takes belief and persistence to nurture this quality. He offers seven principles about creative thinking that he wishes he'd known as a student.
Charles Fischer's insight:

Tenet 6 is vital. Risk-taking is an important part of any process, and those who are worried about failure will rarely take risks. This is especially true in creative processes where people may hold back a key idea that leads to an entirely new thought process. 

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Dean J. Fusto's curator insight, August 9, 2015 4:36 PM

Tenet 6 is vital. Risk-taking is an important part of any process, and those who are worried about failure will rarely take risks. This is especially true in creative processes where people may hold back a key idea that leads to an entirely new thought process. 

Mark E. Deschaine, PhD's curator insight, August 9, 2015 5:46 PM

Tenet 6 is vital. Risk-taking is an important part of any process, and those who are worried about failure will rarely take risks. This is especially true in creative processes where people may hold back a key idea that leads to an entirely new thought process.