Teaching Critical Thinking Middle School

Teaching Critical Thinking Middle School-84
Bloom's Taxonomy and Costa's Levels of Questioning are two of these methodologies.

Bloom's Taxonomy and Costa's Levels of Questioning are two of these methodologies.

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Mentally, some middle school students are not quite ready for this challenge.

Regardless of readiness, Common Core curriculum requires that middle school students learn to think critically. There are a number of ways to introduce the concept of critical thinking to students.

They are then encouraged to express what they see in the picture, what they think about what they are observing, and then to wonder about possible unknowns.

This may be done as part of an open discussion in class or as a written activity, individually or in groups.

Nonetheless, in most cases, the ability to think critically means that a student is able to go beyond the words on the page and understand more deeply what an author is trying to communicate.

Meanwhile, middle school can be a difficult time for some.Once a class gets the hang of seeing, thinking, and wondering, an activity that builds upon those skills is called Claim/Support/Question.This critical-thinking activity, too, can be done in groups or individually, in a written or verbal format, though the topic will be provided by you, the instructor.The advance of knowledge has been achieved not because the mind is capable of memorizing what teachers say but because it can be disciplined to ask probing questions and pursue them in a reasonable, self-critical way.Scholars pursuing knowledge submit their thinking to rigorous discipline. Paul has been an international leader in critical thinking, and his work has been very influential in my teaching.One of the aspects of Richard Paul's work that I find so appealing, and important, is his belief that reasoning must be the center of our teaching—that we must use intellectual standards in our teaching.Noting that critical thinkers analyze and assess their thinking to improve it, he states that holding certain standards as criteria to aim for in our thinking and reasoning should be an important part of our teaching.It is his philosophical approach to critical thinking that, I believe, puts his ideas and concepts head and shoulders above others.It is not a "cookie cutter," "fact or opinion worksheet," "use these words when asking questions" approach.In this activity, students are asked to make a claim about the topic and then provide at least three supporting statements to back up their claim.For students who struggle with supporting statements, encouragement in using personal experiences, observations, and knowledge can be helpful.


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