The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
1. Critical Thinking: How Good Questions Affect Classrooms
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How Good Questions Affect Classrooms
Greg S. Goodman
This chapter presents the notion that critical thinking is one of the keys to your success as a person: be that as a citizen or as a teacher. Developing ways to use your mind to explore concepts, theories, events, or assumptions is a good place to start. To begin this discussion, let us ask ourselves some questions: How is critical thinking different than thinking in general? Is it always necessary to think critically? What values or benefits exist in asking critical questions? How do we begin to create critically meaningful questions?
Many professors of education consider John Dewey to be one of the foremost philosophers in Americans history. Philosophers are valued for their critical thinking and intellectual contributions to society. As an educational philosopher, Dewey gave us many ideas to ponder. One of the best of Dewey’s contributions was the notion that learning is the process of thinking about experience. In Dewey’s (1944) words, “No experience having meaning is possible without some element of thought” (p. 143). This contribution is immediately simple to understand, yet it is profound in its implications for us as teachers, and it is worthy of a deeper investigation. To assist in displaying how Dewey’s words affected me as a teacher, I will share this example from my favorite teaching lesson: rappelling.
As a young college student,...
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