Saturday, April 24, 2010

Professional Development update

How to implement critical thinking in classrooms - Dr Philip Balcaen

On 13 April 2010 fifty teaching staff from K-12 attended a full day workshop on “How to Implement Critical Thinking in Classrooms”, conducted by Dr. Philip Balcean which was well received. Dr.Balcaen teaches in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia-Okanagan, Canada. He is an acknowledged authority in teaching critical thinking and has extensive experience working with educators across Canada in the US and in India.

During his full day workshop he covered the following topics:

During his full day workshop he covered the following topics:

Session 1: Introduction to teaching Critical Thinking

* Background to the pedagogy of Critical Thinking; What is it and why include a focus on critical thinking in your teaching?
* What does teaching critical thinking “look-like & feel-like”? An example!
* Three kinds of questions and considering “challenging questions” as invitations to think critically.
* Examples of Challenging questions from across the curriculum

§ Overview of the TC2 teaching model

Session 2: Teaching the “tools for thought”

* Identifying and Developing Criteria for Judgment—the key to critical thinking:
* Content knowledge as a key component of teaching critical thinking
* Teaching thinking vocabulary/concepts as essential elements of critical inquiry.
* Strategies for teaching thinking
* The importance of teaching Habits of Mind when developing a classroom community of thinkers

This workshop was hands-on and tailor-made to fit into the realities of classroom lesson planning and teaching. The staff found this workshop to be very productive and there was all-round appreciation for it. This workshop has set the ground for future advanced workshops in critical thinking.

Kaisar Dopaishi
Vice Principal