Designing a Thinking Curriculum by Susan Wilks

By Susan Wilks

Responds to the problem of disengagement within the heart years of education, via supplying lecturers and directors with principles for the implementation of a pondering curriculum of their colleges.

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And, Are we the person we see, or the person someone else sees? can be used to direct the inquiry from the concrete and personal to the abstract. Philosophical inquiry promotes knowledge of the ways both visual and textual interpretation and understanding may vary according to cultural, social and personal difference. These factors may also influence the capacity to develop reasoned arguments about interpretation and meaning. It means students are given the opportunity to ask questions, to dig more deeply for meaning, and to explore their own beliefs, attitudes and values.

If the teachers see themselves as thinking coaches, but the students see their job as passing tests or learning facts to get a job, then the teachers will not be successful coaches. The students will not see the point of the activities and lessons their teachers provide if they cannot see their benefits. Like teachers, students have their own ideas about their role at school. Even if they can’t articulate this role, they too will be operating according to a particular view of education. However, because of the traditional culture of schools, the role that students see for themselves is unlikely to be as thinkers or learners.

This needs to be discussed with students regularly. The students must know that the purpose of the class is to develop their thinking. Creating a thinking school 35 DATC-03-Chapter 3 5/1/06 9:59 AM Page 36 ii. Model and personally promote the development of thinking Teachers should practise and model the same skills they want the students to develop. They need to ask questions and answer questions asked of them. They can admit that sometimes they make mistakes, that they need time to think well, that it is OK to take risks in thinking, and that there is nothing wrong with sometimes giving an incorrect answer.

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