what is critical thinking?

Teachers treat consultants like us as a “wild animal” in their domesticated zoo (I mean school), where there is times tested rules and regulations. So when we say new jargon words like critical thinking, creative thinking, it creates more sense of uneasiness than motivation for action. “How can we teach critical thinking to kids as young as six year old?” Teachers always wanted to teach (???) and I told provide opportunities that lead to critical thinking rather than teaching critical thinking.

what makes learning fun?

We had lively interaction with teachers. Normally teachers won’t be forth coming with correct description of problems they face. But this time, they opened up. Their question “what else we need to do to make sure the students taking their learning tasks and daily responsibilities seriously?”

only one correct answer?

A physics teacher gave a barometer and asked them to determine the height of the building. A barometer shows atmospheric pressure of a point, where it was measured .The obvious answer teacher was expecting from his students is this: there is a relation between pressure at point and to altitude of the point. At higher altitude atmospheric pressure reduces. So by feeding the observed data to the mathematical formula, which relates drop in pressure to height, you can find the height of the building. Most of the students had done that way. Few students took very clever approach.

How to assess a student who lacks writing skill but otherwise talented?

How do we design a assessment method for a student who has good of understanding of concepts but not able to express through writing? This was question put forth by one of the teachers in a leading school, when we conducted workshop for them on teaching for 21st century learners. For long, our schools used to assess student's learning output by conducting closed book written exams. This has helped those students who are good at writing and those who are capable of recalling the answers given in the text book. It has punished those children, who had good grip on the subject matter, but poor in writing. It punished those who lacked memory & recitation skill. It also didn't care about those co-scholastic skills such as creative thinking, designing, performing art, sport and leadership skills.

speaking students & listening teachers

Last week we conducted a workshop on creative thinking skills to both parents and children alike in Coimbatore. I always feel happy for interacting with children, since when I connect with them through their thinking process; I discover my own thinking process. At the end of the day, you feel satisfied to make children to talk, to discover the concepts and to be friend with strangers like us. The event was well covered by the Print media and you can look at the write up on miyav learning here in Deccan Chronicle and in The Hindu.

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