Helping Your Pupils to Think for Themselves

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Routledge, 2008 - Education - 65 pages
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Possibly the biggest challenge teachers face in the classroom is getting their pupils to think for themselves. When children learn to think independently, they are able to take control of their own learning. What’s more, they become good at dealing with the many problems that life will inevitably throw their way – not only good at solving these problems, but at choosing the kind of thinking strategies that will help solve them.

Helping your pupils to think for themselves defines the various types of thinking (critical, creative, reflective) and discusses in detail the most crucial type of thinking for student progress – metacognition, which invoves self-assessment, active decision making and personal goal setting. Focusing on how to choose and use a particular type of thinking or strategy for a particular purpose, this book shows teachers how they can do a audit of their pupils’ thinking skills and identify their pupils’ thinking preferences and dispositions, to foster a thinking culture in their classrooms and ensure that all their pupils become skilled and independent thinkers.

This book suggests ways to organise the classroom, provides teaching strategies and pupil activities and gives notes on assessment and record-keeping. It is complemented by several pages of proformas, which can be copied or amended for use in the classroom.


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1 The importance of thinking
2 Types of thinking
3 The role of the teacher
4 Organising the classroom
5 Strategies and activities
6 Frequently asked questions and troubleshooting
7 Tips for the teacher
8 Assessment and record keeping
9 Proformas for the classroom
10 Further reading

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About the author (2008)

Jeni Wilson recently retired from the Department of Learning and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne.

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