Published on January 25, 2008
Teaching Critical Thinking through Active Learning Strategies : Teaching Critical Thinking through Active Learning Strategies Maha Bali, Senior Instructional Technologist Dr. Aziza Ellozy, Director The American University in Cairo Objectives: Objectives The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with an overview of how to explicitly teach critical thinking in the classroom using active learning strategies We will develop a working definition of critical thinking We will model several strategies for teaching critical thinking skills We will discuss approaches for assessing critical thinking Interactive Exercise I: Think-Pair-Share: 10 minutes: Interactive Exercise I: Think-Pair-Share: 10 minutes Write your own definition of Critical Thinking Write down one of the recent assignments you gave your students and explicitly name one or two CT skill (s) you wanted to promote and how you did it. Pair up with one of the other participants, share and compare your notes General definition of Critical Thinking: General definition of Critical Thinking Difficult to define because it differs in relation to context and materials to which it is applied. "Interpreting, analyzing or evaluating information, arguments or experiences with a set of reflective attitudes, skills, and abilities to guide our thoughts, beliefs and actions." (Walsh and Paul) More general definitions of Critical Thinking: More general definitions of Critical Thinking Please refer to handout Examples of Critical Thinking Skills: Examples of Critical Thinking Skills Please refer to handout Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills: Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills A. Explicitly teaching a specific skill or skills Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills: Sample Technique for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills Case Study: Art Forgery? Course: “Scientific Thinking” In-class group exercise Context: Uncertainty in Science Untitled, Paul Cezanne? (circa 1880): Untitled, Paul Cezanne? (circa 1880) Case highlights: Case highlights Friend tells him: “It’s risky to keep buying these paintings from these shady dealers”. Collins, billionaire, wealthy art collector. Keenly interested in finding undiscovered artwork. Discovered a Van Gogh 1992 Untitled, Paul Cezanne? (circa 1880) Unearths what appears to be a Cezanne. Will donate it to Metropolitan Museum Has purchased it from dealer known for passing counterfeits (unknowingly he claims) Case highlights: Case highlights Museum curator needs to make decision. Will be fired if it turns out to be fake. Brings in consultants Art historian: ”I will stake my reputation that this is a previously unknown Cezanne, probably painted in the late 1880’s”. “Under low magnification in the microscope, fine structure of brushwork is indistinguishable from other paintings of his…” Case highlights: Case highlights Scientists’ Findings A. UV spectrum shows substantial absorption of a polyene (a substance present in oil paint material). Polyenes should oxidize over time causing absorption to decrease. This suggests painting is not likely to be 100 years old. BUT, polyenes could also be contaminants caused by soot, cigarette smoke…etc Case highlights: Case highlights Scientists’ Findings B. IR spectroscopy: might not be a Cezanne Analysis of yellow areas shows indirectly they could be cadmium based (a mix of cadmium sulfide and barium sulfate) This mix not widely used before 1927. C. dead by then. There is an indication of an underdrawing, probably charcoal. Cezanne known not to have any underdrawings. Not likely to be a Cezanne Binder is an animal glue binder. This binder widely used in late 19th century till 1940’s. Case highlights: Case highlights Scientists’ Findings C. X-ray Fluorescence Analysis of pigments shows no cadmium or barium. Other elements present confirm pigments widely used before and during C. life span. D. UV Fluorescence Orange in rooftop and dark green in tree show brighter fluorescence than rest of painting. Their emission spectra are very similar to those found in the Brooklyn MOA’ Cezanne in the same visual elements. Blue, yellow and green samples = Case highlights: Case highlights Scientists’ Findings D. UV Fluorescence (cont’d) “…strong support that the pigments were made in the same studio and even by the same artist because of the variability in hand ground-ground pigments.” “No evidence from fluorescence for polyene emission,…even though fluorescence is more sensitive than UV absorption” !!! Interactive exercise: Identify CT skills : Interactive exercise: Identify CT skills Refer to your handout Identify which CT skills are promoted in this exercise Teaching Critical Thinking: Teaching Critical Thinking A. Some Basics: A. Some Basics Please refer to handout B. Teaching a broad critical thinking strategy: B. Teaching a broad critical thinking strategy Please refer to your handout Analyzing an issue Questioning strategy C. Teaching how to read critically : C. Teaching how to read critically Please refer to your handout Active learning*: Active learning* Less emphasis is placed on transmitting information and more on developing students' higher order thinking skills Greater emphasis is placed on students' exploration of attitudes and values *E.C. Bonwell and J. A. Eison Active Learning for Promoting Critical Thinking Skills: Active Learning for Promoting Critical Thinking Skills Please refer to your handout Types of Activities: Types of Activities Interaction with peers Self-assessment Using a variety of strategies Directed Paraphrasing: Directed Paraphrasing In plain language and in less than five minutes, paraphrase what you know about Bird Flu for a high official in the Ministry of Agriculture. Your aim is to convince him to spend time and money in vaccinating healthy domestic birds. Assessing Critical Thinking: Assessing Critical Thinking Questions/activities that encourage critical thinking Bloom’s taxonomy (refer to handout) Use the set of skills as a guide Share rubrics (assessment criteria) with your students Credits: Credits Robert H. Ennis. "A Taxonomy of Critical Thinking Dispositions and Abilities" in Teaching Thinking Skills: Theory and Practice; eds. Joan Boykoff Baron and Robert J. Sternberg. Freeman, 1987.