Tag Archives: critical thinking

How Will You Make Your Own Mess? “Creating a Culture Not of Mimics But of Masters”

We have problems.  Big problems.

Our world is warming up at an alarming rate.  Child poverty is still a reality in spite of “promises” to end it.

Who will solve these problems?

What are we doing every day to move toward solutions?

Commander Hadfield asked this question recently as host of the CBC Radio program “The Current”.

Listen to the short clip here:
http://www.cbc.ca/video/swf/UberPlayer.swf?state=shareaudio&clipId=2508270671&width=512&height=126

“It takes individual action…

What can I do to understand this better, and then based on that understanding, what can action can I take to then help improve things for myself, for Canadians and beyond our borders.”

Commander Hadfield wonders what we are doing wrong in teaching science to our children.  Why does their curiosity disappear as they move through the school system?

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 10.19.39 PM
Shared under a Creative Commons Licence by timuiuc

 

This short clip might shed some light on the issues.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=sXpbONjV1Jc&start=431.61&end=492.43&cid=2794897

 

We can ask the very same questions about math.

This short clip addresses part of the problem, but the full video below is well worth your time.
http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=-tFCVa3lCds&start=366.33&end=539.64&cid=3754815

 

 

How will you help our students to make their own mess?

How are you making your own mess?

What strategies take us away from the path to a society of mimics, and down the road to a society of masters, poised to solve our big problems?

 

Going Deeper with Twitter

Whenever someone is presenting on the value of Twitter for teachers and educators, and there is a shout out for “tell us who you are and why you love Twitter for education”, there is always a flurry of people talking about how they love twitter for connecting with other educators, for conversation and for sharing ideas.  But how often is that really happening?

Image from slideshare.net courtesy of Donna Fry and Colin Jagoe.
Image from slideshare.net courtesy of Donna Fry and Colin Jagoe.

The most valuable moment in my growth as a twitter user came several years ago when I posted a math resource.  Ira Socal (@irasocal) replied that he didn’t think I was the kind of educator who used resources like that. It caught me completely by surprise.  I had not critically judged the resource I shared.  It was being used at my school.  A teacher had recommended it.  I tweeted it. But I had no idea if it was effective.

Image from SlideShare.net courtesy of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (@snbeach).
Image from SlideShare.net courtesy of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (@snbeach).

How often do we share without thinking? How often to we quickly scan something and share? There is so much information out there.  How often do we take the time to read, think, reflect, and ask questions of our PLN? How often do we engage our PLN in critical thinking, or in conversations that challenge our beliefs?

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Stephen Katz talks about the importance of not trying to cover a “mile”, but to pick the right “inch” and then dig in deep.

There is nothing wrong with sharing.  I hope that what I put out there is useful, that it provokes thought and helps kids.  But it is worth taking the time to really read something carefully, to reflect on what is being said, and to challenge the thinking of others.

So how do we start digging deeper into what we are learning from our colleagues on Twitter?

Think about taking part in a chat.  Everything you need to know to take part in a Twitter chat can be found here: Cybrary Man’s Educational Chats on Twitter. If you want to see samples of chat discussions, check out the #edchat archives here.

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Photo from Slideshare.net courtesy of @thecleversheep (Rod Lucier)

Or, just read something that is posted.  Blog about it. Ask questions about it. Think more deeply about it.  Who would use this? Do you agree with it?  Does it align with the Strategic Plan where you work? Do you have experiences to add to it? Can you refer to it in a discussion on another topic?

There are real people with great brains behind those Twitter handles. Let’s make sure Twitter is more than an “echo chamber” and instead, a place where we can challenge each other to think critically about our practice.