Sunday, November 17, 2013

Messy Thinking

I'm a big fan of "making thinking visible" in its many incarnations, and my big goal is to use at least one visible thinking routine each day in any discipline (or transdiscipline, better yet!), and to really start to make the routines what they are: routines.

I am presently reading Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison and so far one of my biggest takeaways is the messiness of thinking - in a positive way.  They suggest that instead of thinking about the different kinds of thinking ala Bloom's Taxonomy, it might be better to start thinking about the quality of thinking within different kinds of thinking, and to start teaching to that.  Project Zero research suggests, contrary to Bloom's taxonomy, "understanding is not a precursor to application, analysis, evaluating and creating but a result of it (Wiske, 1997).  Therefore, understanding isn't a type of thinking, but a result of thinking.

All of this thinking is actually making my brain hurt after a long day of tending to a daughter with food poisoning, and doing my own soul searching kind of thinking about the randomness of the universe, how powerless we can feel when we can't help the people we love the most, and at the same time list-making all the items I need to pack for my five day trip to Xi'an tomorrow with a group of ten and eleven year-old students that begins tomorrow.

Today I am living proof that thinking is disorderly, non-sequential, doesn't always seem to make sense yet is strangely interconnected.

And so to bed.  Dreaming is a whole other level of thinking that I think it's safe for educators to stay well away from in their research!

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