Teaching Critical Thinking Middle School

Teaching Critical Thinking Middle School-35
Students are no longer in elementary school and with the transition to a new school comes more responsibilities and the expectation of a new level of maturity.Students are introduced to more teachers, more classes, and more friends.

Students are no longer in elementary school and with the transition to a new school comes more responsibilities and the expectation of a new level of maturity.Students are introduced to more teachers, more classes, and more friends.

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One strategy I like to use is called I See, I Think, and I Wonder.

In this activity, students are shown a picture with no caption.

One of the aspects of Richard Paul's work that I find so appealing, and important, is his belief that reasoning must be the center of our teaching—that we must use intellectual standards in our teaching.

Noting that critical thinkers analyze and assess their thinking to improve it, he states that holding certain standards as criteria to aim for in our thinking and reasoning should be an important part of our teaching.

Many are used to finding the answer in the text and may develop anxiety if the answer is not immediately available and obvious.

There are some strategies that educators can use to aid in teaching students how to think more critically.While there are many different approaches to, and definitions of, critical thinking, Paul's view of critical thinking is that it is the development of disciplined organized thinking that monitors itself and is guided by certain intellectual standards.Further, he holds that the heart of good teaching is reasoning.Once a class gets the hang of seeing, thinking, and wondering, an activity that builds upon those skills is called Claim/Support/Question.This critical-thinking activity, too, can be done in groups or individually, in a written or verbal format, though the topic will be provided by you, the instructor.They are then encouraged to express what they see in the picture, what they think about what they are observing, and then to wonder about possible unknowns.This may be done as part of an open discussion in class or as a written activity, individually or in groups.Nonetheless, in most cases, the ability to think critically means that a student is able to go beyond the words on the page and understand more deeply what an author is trying to communicate.Meanwhile, middle school can be a difficult time for some.It is his philosophical approach to critical thinking that, I believe, puts his ideas and concepts head and shoulders above others.It is not a "cookie cutter," "fact or opinion worksheet," "use these words when asking questions" approach.

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