Friday, August 07, 2009

The Thinking Classroom (II) Summary & Reflection

Revisit & Summary

Today, the team re-visited the Thinking Classroom... in a different manner (compared to yesterday). It's a clarification process, after noting the unevenness in the understanding of the concepts, ideas amongst us. Each group was to summarise the essence of the chapter.

Here's our group's mindmap {largely contributed by Jennifer and Salena} (created using Mindmeister)

Here's the summary of the 18-page "Thinking Classroom" (exported as image, using BUBBLUS)

Use this dynamic map (created using BUBBLUS) to zoom in and view the details:



Why is it important to talk about Thinking Classroom?

Some questions were posted to us...

  • Fundamentally, who's this Thinking Classroom for?
  • Why do we want to teach at the conceptual level?
  • What's wrong with teaching "Facts/Knowledge" and "Skills"? Nothing's wrong - but Conceptual Thinking helps to create the 'hook' of what they are thought/have acquired.

My thoughts...

A clear answer to the first question - the "Thinking Classroom" is for the learners!

  • Having gone through the two sessions, I could now appreciate more, about this Conceptual thingy... Yes, it's powerful... I guess it's powerful because it allows me to see things in totality.
  • It brings (practically) everything we know under a common umbrella, i.e. the Concept er... or see the different forms converging to a common lens. The line that separates the various disciplines are blurred...
  • What's obvious to me, is really, in order to link/connect so seamlessly, logical reasoning is the key essential! It simply takes good reasoning (of course, how well one could reason also depends on one's exposure and creativity, too!) to be able to do so.
  • Nevertheless, to be able to teach at a conceptual level, it's not just through a series of workshops, but it's through lots of talking, thinking through, interaction and exchange of ideas, and essentially, implementation, only then one could slowly sharpen the tools and skills to bring about such learning experience to the learners! Mastery takes time. I admire those who are able to make the connections so quickly and make it easy for others to understand! Definitely, that's one could look forward to after years of practice! and definitely, it's a habit that one could not develop in isolation!

Response to the next question, "Why do we want to teach at the conceptual level?"

  • Obvious! To make learning meaningful (and go life-long!). It allows meaning making beyond what's scoped within the syllabus!
  • It's more than hands-on application (which is at the event level), it not only just seeing real world application (i.e. connecting to real life and see the usefulness of what we learn), it engages one "emotionally", i.e. through the learner's experience - it's not just existing (or prior) experience, but also to enable the learner to hook what they know now to future experiences that are parallel to what they have.
  • And this experience goes beyond the subject. That's the transfer of learning, and extrapolated via different contexts.

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