Teaching thinking skills can help to make learning more meaningful for disaffected learners and learning more effective for all learners.
Thinking skills have been taught in schools in the North East over the past ten years, helping to raise levels of achievement. Teaching thinking skills to adults could help raise their levels of motivation and achievement.
If you missed the workshop by Vivienne Baumfield, from the Thinking Skills Research Centre, University of Newcastle, at the LSDA Regional event in July then you might like to look at the resources available on the NUT website. These resources are aimed at schoolteachers, but if you attended Vivienne’s workshop then you would know that a lot of the techniques used in schools could be adapted for use with adults. She reported on their successful use within prisons and other situations where adults are disaffected towards learning.
Vivienne pointed out that, ‘Thinking skills interventions:
· Are structured for success; (group oral activities that show everyone can do something)
· Put challenge back into learning;
· Promote good classroom relationships;
· Develop foundation concepts; (of thinking skills)
· Make pupils (and teachers) talk and think about learning.’
The NUT resources include a booklet describing the various classroom activities that can be used to improve thinking skills, how teachers might use the booklet for staff development and a reading list.
So if you want to improve your students learning, get reading and thinking.