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Critical & Creative Thinking

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Jessica Hodgson

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Critical & Creative Thinking

Nine Strategies for teaching Critical & Creative Thinking
Creative and Critical Thinking
Maggie Mey Tran,
Social Studies Department Chair, McLean High School
Why Critical & Creative Thinking?
Belongs in ALL classrooms

True or False
is a right brained activity

In the remaining time
Work either with a partner or by yourself to develop ways in which you can incorporate these strategies into your classroom. Think about how you use the strategies at all levels: team taught, standard, honors, AP/IB.
Helps our students prepare for 21st century jobs where
is the key
Creative thinking requires
divergent thinking
(generating many unique ideas) and then
convergent thinking
(combining those ideas into the best result).
Creativity requires constant shifting, blender pulses of both types of thinking (right and left brain activity) to arrive at original and useful ideas.

can be taught
True - Creativity can be
Those who practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better.
Fact finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process.
Treffinger’s Creative Problem-Solving Method is composed of fact-finding, problem-finding, idea-finding, solution-finding, and plan of action and has
the highest success in increasing children’s creativity.
Higher order thinking skills help students construct
understandings of the curriculum.

Students need explicit instruction and exposure to thinking strategies in
in order to be able to apply them.

Strategies are
for students and teachers
Adapted from the work of Dr. Edward de Bono and Dr. Richard Paul
Derek Sivers, Assumptions Underlying Maps
Panoramic view of Phoenix, Arizona by C. J. Dyer in 1885. Compiled from drawings by topographic artists who walked the streets, these detailed bird's-eye perspectives are one expression of the optimism of urban life during the Victorian era.

Despite its small size, this is one of the ‘great’ medieval world maps. It is probably a copy of the lost map which adorned King Henry III's bedchamber in Westminster Palace from the mid-1230s. The original colours are intact. Showing east at the top, it is a visual encyclopedia, embracing ancient history, politics, scripture and ethnography as well as geography.
"Analogies prove nothing that is true," wrote Sigmund Freud, "but they can make one feel more at home.”
It’s a process of identifying similarities between different concepts
Helps to build conceptual bridges for students between what is familiar and what is new
A memory aid to help students recall a concept which is difficult to remember
The most effective analogies are usually brief and to the point

Analogies from 9th grade Team Taught World History 1
Loess is like water and oil because water settles to the bottom and the oil rises to the top.
Oracle bones are like people who like to hear jokes because you can crack them up.
The Yellow River is like a toilet when it floods because it causes disaster.
The Taklimakan Desert is like the Bermuda Triangle because no one comes out alive.
A dynasty is like an ant colony because they all come from the same family.
Dynasties are like towers because when one falls another will rise.
Ancient Chinese cities are like your room because they have walls and there are no outsiders allowed.


1. Online Map Activity


2. Dust Bowl Article
Your turn:
Come up with several
for a concept in your content that your students struggle with


Come up with an activity involving
that your students can do.

(there will be sharing!)
Tweets from WW2
20 word summaries
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

Students who take responsibility for asking their own questions become more productive and engaged in their learning.

Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, involves questioning our individual learning processes.

Questioning helps us solve problems by developing, implementing, and evaluating plans of action.
Active learners are always questioning.

Decisions & Outcomes
Students recognize the importance of examining the outcomes of
options before embarking on a course of action.

Pick a topic:

Arming teachers

Legalizing marijuana

FCPS Disciplinary Policy/Parent Notification
Read handout
Create a mind map upon the decisions and outcomes based on the information in the handout
In creative problem solving, a fluent student is one who can list many potential solutions to a problem.

Some potential solutions may just be idea fragments, or they may be too "out there" to be practical.

When implementing a fluency strategy, quantity is more important than quality, because students will later reflect on their responses and decide which ideas are worth keeping.

In creative problem solving, impractical ideas are valued just as much as practical ideas. Solutions come from unexpected sources, and students should be encouraged to look at all possible sources in the initial stages of solving problems.

Flexibility requires generating a wide range of ideas.

How many different ways…

List different ways…
Read and annotate the article called “Group Brainstorming Not So Creative.” After everyone is done reading, discuss the article at your table.
Originality refers to unique, unusual responses.

What is the most

What if

Think of a
way to…
Requires adding ideas, providing details, extending thinking. Allows the learner to expand, add on, enlarge, enrich, or embellish upon ideas in order to build upon previous thoughts.

What else do you need…

Tell me more…

In groups of 2-3, pick a social, environmental or political problem. Then spend about 7 minutes individually brainstorming original solutions. When time is called, record all of the ideas from each group member on a piece of butcher paper. Finally, select the most promising solutions, and elaborate on the butcher paper about the most promising solutions.
Thank you so much for your time and attention!
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