Growing Thinking Schools Guide Excerpts
Available to everyone! The Growing Thinking Schools Guide provides the starting point for the journey towards becoming a ‘Thinking School’ of the 21st Century. This resource area gives examples in the form of excerpts from the guide, to give a taste of what’s on offer. Here are some excerpts from our Growing Thinking Schools guide with brief notes. Facilitators are trained to use this guide with teachers and administrators during a one or two day seminar.
Preface (pi -iii and 3 - click on title or image)
These three pages offer an overview of the guide, the uses of the guide, and the “learning cycle” for the seminar. Notice the “feet” on the bottom right of page 3? These represent the metaphor of travelling on a journey as well as being a useful reference point for where we are along the path.
Starting Points (pages 4-5, click on title or image)
We believe that it is important that every participant in the seminar walks out with practical tools for immediate use in the classroom and across the school. Here are the six “Starting Points” that are introduced, modeled and practiced during the seminar.
What is an effective Thinking School? (p12, 14-15, click on title or image)
Participants answer this question on their own during the seminar, but we also offer in this visual display a synthesis of what schools around the world have offered as some of the key qualities of a Thinking School. On the following pages we also share some common characteristics and outcomes as well as the general phases toward becoming a Thinking School.
Case Study of a Thinking School (p21-23, click on title or image)
Brain Matters: The Neo Cortex (p28, click on title or image)
Throughout the Growing Thinking Schools guide there are focus pages describing information about the brain and how explicit use of thinking tool and processes may affect learning. Here is a page on reflective thinking (metacognition), a quality of human kind that makes us distinct from all other organisms!
Orders of Change (p33,click on title or image )
Most of us really don’t like to change, especially when someone else is telling us how to do it! This visual map of 3 orders of change makes clear that we are most interested in facilitating each teacher and every school in creating their own pathway.
Dimensions for Developing Thinking (p36, 40-43, click on title or image )
During the seminar we introduce to teachers 5 broad “dimensions” or categories of thinking, Within each dimension (such as the “Cognitive Process Dimension”) we focus on an example within each (such as the revised Bloom’s taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives). Participants are offered time to share ideas, create applications, and evaluate where this is an area that the think their whole school should comprehensively introduce to students. Here are some pages from that section.
Enquiry Dimension and Questioning (p46, click on title or image, )
Depth and Complexity (p64,click on title or image )
Just as with “Brain Matters” we offer participants additional links to high quality research and models. This model is very useful at any level of instruction, as Depth and Complexity is facilitated using the six Starting Points we model during the day.
Another Brain Matters! (p77, click on title or image)
Check out these powerful statistics! This is powerful because research has shown that most of us educators talk (auditory) when in fact most students are dominantly visual learners. We stress that auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning modalities are essential to all learning… but where is the focus in your classroom and school?
Planning the Journey (p80-83,click on title or image)
We get down to the details by the end of the seminar by engaging participants in thinking about how they might design a process for transforming their own school. Here are a few pages that are fun to use such as the Mindscaping technique for the journey up the mountain … with THINKING at the top!