Teaching Critical Thinking

Teaching Critical Thinking

Teaching Critical Thinking

Teaching Critical Thinking

Synopsis

Teaching Critical Thinking presents case studies of teaching in four disciplines, demonstrating how teachers view secondary content and transform content knowledge into work tasks for students. Based on interviews and classroom observation, the volume identifies the relation between imagery embedded in content knowledge and the transformation of pedagogical content knowledge into curriculum. Although most educators argue for the primacy of pedagogy in teaching critical thinking, Grant asserts that teachers' content understanding shapes instructional functions and the selection of activities. Included is an analysis of four teachers' efforts to convey their content understanding to students through critical thinking tasks.

Excerpt

Bob Post, as chair of the Social Science Department at Castile High School, is the most active of these four teachers in school governance and curriculum development. He is a member of the School Leadership Council, which meets monthly with the principal to coordinate curriculum and to promote professional development. This Leadership Council approves curriculum changes in departmental offerings and reviews individually submitted proposals for curriculum development. As department chair, Bob also participates in the evaluation of the ten tenured and untenured teachers within his department. He is a member of the District Social Science Subject Area Council, a district-wide committee of department heads from each of the eight high schools. The primary focus of the Subject Area Council is curriculum development and other matters directly related to the educational program of students. It reviews, studies, and makes recommendations on all district curricular proposals in social science.

For eighteen months, Bob has been chair of the Computer Literacy Committee at Castile. In that time, this faculty committee has developed and implemented a computer literacy program for both students and faculty. Committee members have developed a four and a half week module that is included in the ninth grade social studies curriculum. They have identified the hardware and software necessary for this program and now monitor the curriculum and the scheduling of the Computer Center. The Committee also offers two-hour workshops for teachers, taught by members of the Committee, on word processing, gradebook data, and programming. Much . . .

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