Sunday, 20 October 2013

Thinking the Titanic

So the other day I was doing a "CASE"  lesson with one of my Y7/8 Science classes.  It was about sinking and floating.  The first activity was a true/false/partly true set of questions about sinking and floating. The questions were pretty ambiguous and the "right" answer was often "partly true". They collaborated and quarreled over the answers.  The second activity asked them why the Titanic sank and gave them four reasons, all of which were nearly right. More argument!  The third activity was a series of 7 or 9 sentences that could be assembled into an accurate statement about the principle of flotation.

It was a very good lesson and the part that enabled that was the questions were well constructed to get argument going.  So what sort of thinking was it?  I think it was 'critical thinking'.  Here is a definition from "The Critical Thinking Community":

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

 I guess it fits into our pin-up thinking styles because it is part analytical and part logical.

CASE is an acronym for Curriculum Acceleration through Science Education and claims to lift student achievement in all subjects by getting them to think in Science.

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