Teaching Critical Thinking – Full Video

Teaching Critical Thinking – Full Video

November 18, 2019 12 By Stanley Isaacs


♪ [music–no dialogue] ♪♪. (Dr. Jeffrey Cross).
Good afternoon everyone. My name is Jeff Cross, I’m
the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. I bring you greetings from
Blair Lord, our Provost, who were it not for other
duties this afternoon, he would be here
in front of you. We are honored this afternoon
to have on our campus Dr. Saundra McGuire. For those of you who don’t know
Dr. McGuire or know about her, let me tell you just a
little bit about her. She is the Director of the
Center for Academic Success and adjunct professor of chemistry
at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. She received a B.S. degree
from Southern University, a master’s degree from
Cornell, and her Ph.D. in chemical education from the
University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she received
the Chancellor’s Citation for exceptional
professional promise. Prior to joining LSU in 1999,
she spent 11 years at Cornell, where she served as Director
of the Center of Learning and Teaching, and senior lecturer in
the Department of Chemistry. Had received the coveted Clark
Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. McGuire is the recipient
of numerous awards. Her most recent
awards include the 2007 diversity award from the
Council on Chemical Research, the 2006 Presidential Award
for excellence in science, mathematics, and engineering
mentoring, awarded by President Bush in an
Oval Office ceremony, and the 2003, 2004, 2005,
and 2007 Teaching in Higher Education conference
outstanding presentation award. (Dr. McGuire).
There was no award in 2006. [audience laughter]. (Dr. Cross).
I didn’t leave that out, It’s not here. [laughter]. Everything is in context. She’s married to Dr. Stephen
McGuire, they have two children. And without any further ado,
Dr. Saundra McGuire. [audience applause]. It’s wonderful to have you on
our campus, thank you. (Dr. McGuire).
Thank you very much. Well good afternoon
everybody, okay. Hello, hello, yeah
this is interesting, this is a little bit different. This is kind of equivalent to if
you thought you were giving a presentation to specialists in
your area, and then you found out when you got there, that
no it’s a general population. So we’re going to adjust,
because I didn’t know that there were going to be a lot
of students this afternoon. It’s great that you guys are
here, and the faculty talk was going to be on teaching
students critical thinking. We are going to get to some of
that, but because there are so many students here, I think
I want to repeat some of the stuff that we talked about
this morning that I think would be very, very
beneficial for students. So I do need to get a little bit
better feel for the audience, because I’m told that
many students were probably leaving at two. How many people are
leaving at two o’clock? (audience).
One forty-five. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, okay then excuse me. They said one forty-five, we’re
not going to be here till two. [audience laughter]. How many people are
leaving at one forty-five? Ah okay, how many people
over here are staying after one forty-five? And how many people were here
at the morning session? Okay, alright, and so you may
hear a few things repeated from the morning session, but
we will say that repetition is a little bit good. And so I think what I’m going to
do is since our students do have to leave very quickly, I’m
going to start with the little exercise, the count
the vowels exercise. And so for those of you who
were here this morning, please don’t give it away,
but you can see if you can do better than you
did this morning. And so this afternoon
what we’re going to be talking about is developing
better thinking skills in not just students
but everybody. And a lot of developing
better thinking skills has to do with developing
better learning skills. And so I’m going to go back
to the other presentation and I’m going to go to
the Bloom’s Taxonomy. Actually I’ll start with
counting vowels and this is a
little activity. And students this activity is
designed to help you understand that there may be a difference
between what you’re doing now to perform well in classes
and what you need to do. Okay, so does everybody
have one of those little turquoise things? Okay, so what I’m going to do is
give you 40 seconds to count the vowels on that list of
words or short phrases. And so you can rip it open now,
but don’t look at the words yet. Everybody get it ripped open now
but don’t look at the words. Just open it up, because
sometimes people have trouble opening it up. Okay, so everybody’s
got it open? Okay, so this is what
we are going to do. The ground rules are, I’m going
to give you 40 seconds, if you finish before
the 40 seconds are up, then just turn your
paper face down. But everybody has to stop
when I say time’s up, okay? Okay, so let’s start
counting the vowels now. [no dialogue]. (Dr. McGuire).
Five seconds. And…stop. Okay, so everybody should have
your paper turned face down. And now what I would like for
you to do, is write down the list of all the words
that were on the sheet. Okay, as many as you remember. All from memory exactly, don’t
look back at the words yet. Okay, if you don’t know any of
them that’s fine, but write down as many as you do remember, if
you remember some of them. And then after you’ve written
down as many as you remember, then look up at me. Let’s see, one person
is still writing. Okay, it looks like
everybody’s finished. Let’s see how we did. There are 15 words on the
list and is there anybody who remembered more than–this
time I’ll even start at 7– anybody remember 7 or more? Okay, raise your hand when I get
to the number you did remember. Six? Okay, we’ll start with seven. Anybody remember
more than seven? Ah, who was not
here this morning. [audience laughter]. Okay, alright well
we’ll start with eight if you weren’t here
this morning. Anybody remember eight? Okay, seven? Okay
6…5…4…3…2…1…zero? Okay, actually most people
here didn’t raise your hand. Let’s do that one more time. Okay now let’s start with five
and you have to raise your hand on the number that
you did remember. Any body remember
more than five? No, okay, oh six? Seven? Eight? Okay, everybody’s
less than that. Okay so I’ll start with
7…6…5…4? Okay, three? Ah, 2…1…zero? Okay I think I got most
people this time. Okay, and you’re kind of similar
to the group this morning, where the average
was about three. And the situation with
this is, now we can look at the words again. There are actually three
parts to this exercise, and this is getting into
critical thinking and how we decide on behaviors and
actions we’re going to do. You’re going to look at the
words there, actually there are three parts to this exercise,
but in the interest of time I’m going to skip over
the second part. The second part would be, I
would give you 40 seconds to memorize the words on the list. But the third part is, we would
point out that there is a way that the words are written,
there is some principle that the words are
written according to. Does anybody see what
that principle is– okay, actually I’m going to
give students first dibs, and then I’m going to–
any students see what they are arranged
according too? Okay, they’re still thinking,
what do you see them arranged according too? (female speaker).
Numbers–1, 2, 3, 4. (Dr. McGuire).
Absolutely, they are arranged according to numbers. Dollar bill for one, dice for
two, tricycle for three, et cetera, et cetera. Okay now I’m going to give
you 40 seconds to memorize the words on the list and
the rules are going to be different this time. This time when I say stop,
this time you don’t have to write them all down, I just want
everybody to close your eyes and then silently recite
to yourself the words that are on the list okay? Okay, so you have 40 seconds
to memorize the words and you can start
memorizing the words now. [no dialogue]. Shh, there should be silence
while people are memorizing. [no dialogue]. Five seconds. And…stop. Okay, so now everybody just
close your eyes, there should be complete silence while you’re
reciting the words to yourself. Count up the number you remember
and we’ll see how we did. Open your eyes when
you’re finished. [no dialogue]. [Dr. McGuire whispers].
Did you get them all? [no dialogue]. Okay, let’s see I think
everybody’s got it, yeah. Okay let’s see how
we did this time. The last time our average
was around three, and so we’ll see this time
I’ll start with three. When I get to the number you
did remember raise your hand. Four…5…6…7…8…9…10
…11…12…13…14…15? Wow, okay, we were spread
over a little bit more, but it looked like our average
this time was about twelve. Well the point of this exercise
is to say we’re not any smarter people in this room than we were
two minutes ago when the average was about three, and that
was about the same average we got this morning. And there are 15
words on the list and 3 out of 15
is what percent? Twenty, and for my students, 20
percent is what letter grade in your classes? Okay F minus, right? Whereas 12 out of
15 is 80 percent And so the point is that in two
short minutes you could go from performing at a 20 percent
level, to an 80 percent level using critical thinking skills
because there were two, at least two fundamental
things that were different between the first one
and the second one. Anybody tell me what was one of
the things that was different the second time than
the first time? (female speaker).
Focus. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, somebody said focus, we knew exactly what
we were looking at, and then there was another
thing that was different–yes. (female speaker).
There was like a theme. (Dr. McGuire).
Exactly, there was a theme. We knew how the
information was organized and we also knew how to focus,
we knew what the task was. And so the point is that
everybody can improve their learning ability, their
efficiency, if they know how information is organized
and that is part of what critical thinking is all about. And so I want to go now
to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and again for you
guys this morning this is a little bit of a
review, but Bloom’s Taxonomy –how many student’s have
seen Bloom’s Taxonomy? Oh okay, very few, I just
see about three people. Well Bloom’s Taxonomy is just a
hierarchy of learning levels. And if we are talking
about critical thinking, and we are going to define
critical thinking in a minute. Actually let me just
take from the audience, if you had to define in
your own words, what is critical thinking? What would anybody say? (female speaker).
Analysis. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, somebody said analysis, Any other word that you could
think of that we could use for critical thinking? (female speaker).
Questioning. (Dr. McGuire).
Questioning, okay, absolutely. And one other answer. Anybody else, one other word,
okay did I see a hand here? (female speaker).
What you think about after you memorize. (Dr. McGuire).
She said what you think about after you memorize, okay
and what were you going to say? (male speaker).
Processing information. (Dr. McGuire).
Processing information, okay. (male speaker).
Reflective thinking. (Dr. McGuire).
Reflective thinking, okay. All of these things go
into critical thinking. Well Bloom’s Taxonomy is just a
hierarchy of learning levels, and the very bottom of
that is just knowledge or just memorization. So if you’re at knowledge, you
have memorized information. You could spit back any
definition verbatim, you could give me any
formula, you could do, if you’re in science courses,
plug and chug problems where you just stick stuff in. If you’re at comprehension, now
you own the information enough that you can explain it in your
own words and you could, as I said this morning, you could
explain any concept to your 8 year-old nephew or your
80 year-old grandmother in words they understand–you
could give them analogies, you could give them examples. If you’re at application, now
you can do problems you’ve never seen before, you
can answer questions you’ve never seen before. And to my students
let me just ask, have you ever gotten to a test
where you studied everything, you just knew you knew,
and you got to the test and it looked like nothing
you’ve studied was on the test? (male speaker).
Happens all the time. [audience laughs]. (Dr. McGuire).
Happens all the time. Okay now when that happens, what
that typically means is that you’re not at the
application level. And then I’ll go up and then
I’ll ask you guys something about high school. In analysis, if you’re at that
level, you could take any concept, you could break it down
into simpler concepts and if I asked you, how many people
are in chemistry right now? Anybody taken chemistry? No, okay a math
course this semester? Okay, so if I were
to ask you to, let’s take a trigonometry
concept, sine’s, and I might ask you to
come up and give a three-minute
mini-lecture on sines. If you’re at analysis you could
do that, talk for three minutes without saying and uh, it’s kind
of like uh, and I think its, you would be that conversant. So you could tell me about
the Pythagorean theorem, you could tell me about right
angles, you could tell me all these different kinds of
things if you’re at analysis. If you had synthesis, now you
can come up with something new that has not been designed
before, and this happens a lot of times when you’re doing
research projects. If you’re at analysis–I’m
sorry–if you’re at evaluation, now you can determine whether
one theory is better than another theory, one idea
is better than another idea. And so to give you a
little bit better focus and idea of exactly what
these levels represent, this is just an example of
applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to “Goldilocks and
the Three Bears”. So if you had knowledge,
then all you’d have to do is list the items that
Goldilocks used. All that takes is memorization,
but if you’re at comprehension, you might have to explain why
does she like Goldilock’s chair the best, putting it
in your own words. If you’re at application, then
you might have to describe, if she came to your house,
what would she use? If you’re at analysis, then you
might have to think about, if this is reality, what events
couldn’t really happen? If you’re at synthesis, then
you might have to explain, well suppose this wasn’t
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but it’s Goldilocks
and the hree fish. How would the story
be different? You might have to write your
own story at that level. And if it were evaluation, then
you’d have to judge whether Goldilocks was a
good or bad person. And so I’m just going to throw
out to the audience as we did this morning, how many
of you would say that Goldilocks was a good person? Okay, alright, how many
of you would say that Goldilocks was a bad person? Okay, how many of you
would say that Goldilocks was neither good nor bad? Okay, and so that would
be the other option. So now for my students out
there, let me just ask when you were in high school,
what was the highest level that you generally had to operate
in order to make A’s and B’s in your classes? And this is important for us as
faculty to recognize because we’re talking about critical
thinking and as we’ve said, student’s critical thinking is
really operating at those higher levels, and so if we understand
where students have been operating before they come to
us, then it’s very insightful. So for my students out there,
just by a show of hands let me know the highest level that you
typically had to operate at in high school to make the grades
that you made in high school? How many of you would
say it’s knowledge? Okay, how many of you would
say it’s comprehension? Okay, application? Okay, analysis? Okay, synthesis and evaluation? And again, for the benefit of my
faculty I’m going to ask, students typically when
you’re in high school, what did your teachers do
the day before the test? (audience).
Review. (Dr. McGuire).
Review–I always get that in unison, review, okay. And what did they
do during the review? (female speaker).
They gave answers. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, exactly. We were talking about
that this morning and a lot of times, I know I
was surprised to hear this as a faculty member. I expected when I asked
this question, now I’ve asked this question to student
audiences all over the country and it’s consistent. The question, what did they do
the day before the test? Review, I expected that,
that’s why students, you guys love getting review sheets from
faculty and they’re going yeah. Okay, and then when I ask, what
do they do during the review? I was shocked when my students
told me, they gave us the answers to what was
going to be on the test. Yeah and somebody said they do. And so what happens is we have
all these brilliant students who come to the university, but they
are so used to having review, getting the test questions
the day before the test, that they think the same
thing is going to continue. Now back to my students, you
guys are very, very bright. Now if you had not gone to class
a single day, before the day before the test and you went
that day and you paid really close attention to what happened
that day, what was the lowest grade you would likely get on
the test the next day? (audience response).
C. (Dr. McGuire).
That’s what they all say, C. Okay, now at the
university level, what grade are many
students striving to get? They say I just want to get a… (audience).
C! (Dr. McGuire).
Exactly, and so faculty, this is the first time
I’ve ever done this and I almost feel like Oprah
or something I don’t know. Just give me a mic and I can
run around, and so that’s why a lot of our students are not
doing what they could do. They’re very bright students,
let me ask my students, how many of you–just
by a show of hands– how many would say you
studied a lot in high school? Okay, a few and
most people didn’t and why didn’t you study a lot? (female speaker).
We really didn’t have to. (Dr. McGuire).
Didn’t have to, exactly. And so when they get to the
university they are thinking same thing, they’re
just great scientists. Using the data points they
have, that suggest that I don’t really need to pay
a lot of attention to this until the day before the test. I will study the stuff
the day before the test, and I will end up
making at least a C, which is what a lot of
students are striving for. And so, what we are talking
about is things students can do, and that faculty can do in order
to improve student learning. Because there’s another question
that I wanted to ask students, and this is going to be kind
of a yes or no question. Well not really. If you think about
your current GPA, how many people are
first-year students? Ah, okay, so this is just
your first semester. Ah got you, did everybody
get mid-term grades? Very good, okay, alright. So how many people would say
that when you look at your average for mid-term, if your
GPA had to reflect either your academic ability or the effort
that you put in your studies? Okay, how many of you would say
that your GPA from mid-term reflects your
intellectual ability? Okay, how many of you would
say it reflects the work that you put into your studies? Okay, consistent. Faculty, all over the country
this is what students say. The reason that students are
not putting a lot of effort into their studies is because, they
didn’t think they needed to. And they didn’t think they
needed to because they never had to in high school and they
had great grades in high school. And so basically what we’re
talking about then is, how do you transition from high
school to the university. And for faculty, what kinds
of things can we do in order to improve student learning. And so, now I’m going to go
back to the critical thinking presentation which is what
this was going to be about. I know I have only fifteen more
minutes with my students right? (female speaker).
It’s a lot of us too. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, okay, thank you. (female speaker).
We’re here for this. (Dr. McGuire).
Got you, how many groups over here are
leaving at 1:45 p.m.? Okay, so a lot of you guys
are still staying, got you. Okay, so I want to go now to
critical thinking and that is… We have really got to focus
on critical thinking skills, and we heard what critical
thinking skills were all about, because it is really crucial
to student learning. Now back in Bloom’s Taxonomy,
we saw that a lot of students were focused on memorization
in high school. And so the key is now you’ve
got to get yourself from that lowest level up to
analysis and later on, it’s even going to be
synthesis and evaluation. And you’re still the great
student you were in high school, it’s just that you need to do
some things a differently. And so the outcomes that I have
for the whole workshop this afternoon for faculty is that
we really will have a much better understanding of
what critical thinking is. But not only that is that we’ll
have concrete strategies that will increase our students
critical thinking skills; and for students your own
critical thinking skills. And we’ll know the kinds of
things that motivate students to think critically, and if I
get to do some of that while the students are still here,
you can either say yeah that would motivate me, or no
it wouldn’t motivate me. And then we’ll use those
critical thinking skills to do a little activity that is going
to address a problem that we are trying to address here. Okay, and so the reflection
question that I had–and we already said what was critical
thinking–and so why is that important in the courses
that you are teaching, and this is for faculty. So I won’t make you
answer that right now, just want to think about
it, because I want to get through as much before
the students leave. Okay, but then why
is that important? And then why is that important? And, so I want us as faculty
to think about why critical thinking is important
to what we’re doing. Now a working definition of
critical thinking, and this comes from the work of Michael
Scriven and Richard Paul. Critical thinking requires a lot
of intellectual discipline, it requires discipline. It’s the intellectually
disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing. And so we got to think of the
concepts, the basic concepts in our courses that students need
to see how they fit together in order to be able
to think critically. Applying, analyzing,
synthesizing–those were some words we had earlier–and or
evaluating information gathered from or generated by
observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or
communication as a guide to belief and action. So basically we are taking
information and we are interpreting that information,
putting it in our own words, making it our own, but then
seeing how that applies to our lives and how it guides
our belief and action. Now there’s one other
perspective that I wanted to share, this is from Nord. “Critical thinking is not just a
matter of applying logical rules (much less just applying
the scientific method) but it’s a matter of thinking and feeling
empathetically with others of engaging one’s imagination,
of having access to a wealth of facts about the possible
effects of alternative actions, of discerning patterns of
meaning and experience, and looking at the world from
different perspectives.” And so, to break all that stuff
down in layman’s terms for the students, basically it means we
are just looking at, how can I look at things from a number
of different perspectives.” And somebody mentioned earlier
with critical thinking, they said questioning
was very important, and questioning is
extremely important. And so what that means is that
when we are looking at topics or looking at ideas, when there are
questions that come to mind, we have to recognize that those
questions are valid questions but we also have to
address those questions. And so, if I just go back to
the counting vowels exercise, was there a question that came
to anybody’s mind before you started counting the vowels
that you didn’t ask? Okay, yes. (female speaker).
Are we supposed to include Y? (Dr. McGuire).
Very good, she said are we supposed to include Y. How many people thought
of that question? Okay, and the people
over here did too. Well, one of the really
important things about critical thinking is those
questions will come to mind and you’re really thinking
about what questions do I have that have
not been answered. But it’s extremely important to
get those questions out there, because you saw that there
were a number of other people who had the same question. And this is going to
happen in classes too. And for faculty, what we always
suggest is, you know if we stop and ask does any body
have any questions, typically what happens
when we ask that faculty? Nothing, there’s silence, okay and our students are going
to tell us why that is. Because when we as faculty
ask that question, you have questions but you
don’t ask the question, right? Will somebody share with us why
it is you don’t ask the question that you have when faculty
say are there any questions. (female speaker).
We want to leave class early. [audience laughs]. (Dr. McGuire).
Interesting, now that was not the answer that
I was expecting. Okay, does anybody, okay yes. (female speaker).
You don’t want to be embarrassed if it’s a stupid
question or anything like that. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, yes, and what were you going to say,
young lady in the back? (Dr. McGuire).
Same thing, okay, yeah. That was the answer
that I was expecting. That I don’t want to look
stupid, I don’t want to ask a question that might
be a stupid question. And so for faculty, because
questioning is such a very, very important part of critical
thinking, one of the ways– and I’ll ask students if
you would feel better. If we said do you have any
questions and you get to share with the person next to you
what your question might be, if you got a chance to talk with
the person before you asked your question, would
that make you feel more comfortable
to ask a question? Okay, and they’re saying yeah. And so one of the things that
we can do to get our students to participate and get those
questions on the table, is make it comfortable
for them. And basically what they’re
doing is, they are venting their question, because if
they ask this other person and the other person thinks
that’s a reasonable question, then you know that there’s
at least on other person in the room who does not think
that your question is stupid. And you feel much more confident
to get that question out on the table, so that’s very important. Okay, so we see what critical
thinking is and where we are trying to go with this, and
so let’s do a little bit of critical thinking, this is
probably the last thing our students will get
a chance to do. But this thing is called
the noun game, and what I would like for you to do is
just think of a noun, any noun. It can be a proper noun
or a common noun, any person, place, or thing. Okay, so just any noun and right
that noun down, please. Okay, and then what
I’m going to do is– so everybody’s got your
noun written down, okay. I’m going to take one student
and one faculty member to get a noun and
I’m going to select, yes, our, yes Brother Rice. (female speaker).
I wrote umbrella. (Dr. McGuire).
Umbrella, okay. Okay, now that’s a cognitive
science thing. Why were you thinking umbrella? Because it’s raining, exactly
and somebody else said umbrella. Okay, so I’m going to pick
from our faculty side. I’m going to pick the young lady
right here with glasses on. Yes, oh, no behind you,
right behind you. Okay, what was your noun? (female speaker).
House. (Dr. McGuire).
House, okay. So we have umbrella
and we have house. Now what I would like for you to
do is to think of at least eight different things that umbrella
and house have in common, okay? (female speaker).
Do we have to say the word? (Dr. McGuire).
No, don’t say it out loud. Just think how many things
do umbrella and house– and we’re going for things
that are surprising. I mean, you can put
everything down, but very uncommon similarities. [no dialogue]. Okay, let’s take about 15 more
seconds, and however many you have is going to be fine. [no dialogue]. Okay, let’s see what
we came up with. So would someone share with us,
what was one thing you said they had in common? (female speaker).
They could both come in different shapes and sizes. (Dr. McGuire).
Very good, okay. They can both come in different
shapes and sizes, okay. And I’ll just go back and forth,
okay, one person over here. (female speaker).
They might leak. (Dr. McGuire).
Say that again? (female speaker).
They might leak. (Dr. McGuire).
Very good, she said they both can leak,
they might leak. Okay, and then over here, we’ll
go here and then back there. (female speaker).
They’re both a form of protection and shelter. (Dr. McGuire).
Very good, they’re both a form of protection and
shelter, okay. And then over
here, okay, yes. (female speaker).
They both have supports. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, they both have supports. Okay, and then back
here in the corner. (female speaker).
They both are nouns that end with vowels. (Dr. McGuire).
Wait, we said–oh, yeah, great. Okay, slow on the uptake
here, but absolutely. Yeah, she said they’re both
nouns that end with vowels. Okay, house and umbrella. Yes, okay, over here. (male speaker).
They both can tear up with strong wind. (Dr. McGuire).
Ah, they can both tear up with strong wind, okay. Here, and then I’ll
come to–yes. (female speaker).
They can both be decorative. (Dr. McGuire).
They can both be decorative. Okay, here, and yes. (female speaker).
They can be shared. (Dr. McGuire).
They can be shared. Okay, they can be shared. Okay, now we got a
competition going on. [audience laughter]. We’ll see who can last
the longest, okay, here. (male speaker).
They both can be bought. (Dr. McGuire).
They can both be bought. Okay, now we’re just
going to do three more. Okay, here, yes. (female speaker).
They both had songs written about them. (Dr. McGuire).
They both have had songs written about them, okay. (male speaker).
I don’t own either. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, he doesn’t own either. Okay, alright, okay, one
more over here, yes. (female speaker).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Wait, shhh. (female speaker).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Policies? (female speaker).
An umbrella policy or a house policy. (Dr. McGuire).
Ah, you can have, okay, related to insurance,
an umbrella policy, a house policy. Okay, then there was one other
student I think I saw over here. Yeah, okay, yes. (female speaker).
They can be the same color. (Dr. McGuire).
They can be the same color. Now the purpose of this
game–and I actually heard some students earlier say,
oh I give up, oh I’m stuck. This is an activity
that was done actually by a math professor. And the point is to help people
understand that even when you have something that you think
doesn’t have a real answer, that you can’t think of the
answer to, if you just think long enough you can invoke
those critical thinking skills. And so, he does this every class
to help students recognize that they can dig deeper and
think of these analogies. Okay, so now if we look at
some of the prerequisites for critical thinking, and going
back to what the students said earlier, that sometimes its hard
to ask questions in class, because you’re not
sure if your question is a reasonable
question or not. The same thing is true of the
kinds of questions that we ask when we want students to
think critically and engage in discussions in class,
because a lot of times students will have ideas
about things that they want to say, but they really
don’t know if it’s reasonable. And so one of the prerequisites,
well a series of prerequisites for critical thinking is–and
this is for our students, too– but you have to have a very
solid grasp of information. So substantial knowledge of
facts, concepts and ideas. And we talked in the morning
session about how to facilitate conceptual understanding of
students, and then having students to engage in activities
where they discuss those things and make sure that they
understand concepts. You have to believe in your
ability to think critically. And so often when students
get to the university level, and correct me if I’m wrong,
you’ve had opportunities or things where you have given your
opinion, and somebody says, well no that doesn’t
make any sense. Has that ever happened? Okay, and when that happens,
when they come to this environment, then they are very
reticent to put forth ideas because they’ve already been
told that when you come up with ideas, it probably is not going
to make a lot of sense. So you’ve got to believe in your
ability to think critically. There’s got to be a
safe environment in which to think critically. So in other words,
students have to know that whatever their idea is,
it’s not going to be shot down. And so it’s really important for
us to, kind of like what we did with the little noun game,
any answer that is produced, there’s some way that makes
that answer somehow right. And we might not be–I’ll
give you an example. If I were to ask, what’s the
sum of two plus two, okay? Everybody knows
that’s four, okay, but if I had a student
who said five. Can anybody think of how two
plus two might be equal to five? (female speaker).
Babies. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, somebody said babies. What do you mean babies? (female speaker).
Well, I think you put two people together and they have two kids,
and they might have one more. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, okay, so two plus two babies are five and then a
student said something. What did you say over here? (female speaker).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Hmmm? (female speaker).
You add on one. (Dr. McGuire).
If you add on one, okay, or synergy–sometimes we
say that the whole is much bigger than just the
combination of parts. And so if somebody says five,
then I say well yeah, you might be thinking about synergy, but
in this particular case that’s not what we’re thinking about,
but five is a reasonable answer. Can anybody think of how two
plus two might equal three? Okay, as a chemist, I know that
two plus two might equal three because if I put two milliliters
of one liquid together with two milliliters of another,
but when those two things have stronger intermolecular
attractive forces between them than the two individually,
then I can put two and two and end up with
three milliliters. And so every answer that
a student is willing to come up with, there’s got to be
a way for us to figure out how somehow that might make sense. And then if we do that kind of
thing, then students are going to be much more willing to take
the chance to think critically and to offer some comments that
would reflect critical thinking. Okay, and then rewards
for thinking critically. How many of our students, how
many of you, the tests that you’ve had so far, relied mostly
on memorizing information? Okay, so this is most
of our students. And so, but we have
to– and there– you guys are getting ready
to head out, right? Okay, well it was a
pleasure meeting you. So, how many people are
going to stay over here? I think we still have a critical
mass, yeah, okay, alright. Okay, so remember, think of
Bloom’s Taxonomy, and think about moving yourself up
to higher levels, okay? Alright, very good. Okay, and so then, now we
talked about some of the prerequisites for
critical thinking. Are there others, can anybody
think of any other prerequisites that we haven’t put up there? They’re just getting
a few cookies. Talk a little more about that. (male speaker).
I guess maybe why should they want to think critically
about their own writing? Why should they want
to think critically about an essay or a novel? (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, excellent point. One of the prerequisites is
understanding why thinking critically is important to this
particular discipline. Anybody think of any–yes? (male speaker).
Thoughtful props, like the two plus two
equals what exercise, it invites critical thinking,
but some questions just don’t. They only have one answer,
so you can’t think critically about them unless you
inform them, like hey, tell me how two plus
two equals three. (Dr. McGuire).
Very good point, yeah. Those open-ended questions that
invite critical thinking, as opposed to the closed-end
questions where there’s a right answer or wrong answer, and
students get beat up about that. Okay, so moving right along. Okay, now there were, and this
was, could you all tell what a challenge that was for me? [audience laughter]. I did, oh thank you. And I’m thinking, oh wow, and
they’re first semester students too, so, but they were
great, they were great. Okay, there are three kinds
of instructor-influenced classroom interactions
that pretty consistently and positively relate to having
students experience gains in critical thinking. Actually it was perfect that
they left then because this would have been a little bit
harder to have with them, right? One is the extent to which
we as faculty really encourage critical thinking,
praise critical thinking, or use student ideas. And that’s a big thing
and so many classes, especially in the sciences
I’ve seen where we go in and we’re the sage on the
stage as opposed to the guide on the side, and we
give students the impression that I am the repositor of
knowledge and you are here to get it from me and there’s
really nothing that you can contribute to my learning, I’m
here to give everything to you. Now I know that this is not true
of anybody in this room, because I’m preaching to the choir. You guys are the folks who
don’t believe this, but you’ve probably seen colleagues
who sort of have that opinion, and students really react
very negatively to that. The amount and cognitive level
of student participation in class. And so often we will ask
questions and students won’t say anything, but we
hear why they won’t. Now, I was a little surprised
that there were so many students who said that their test relied
only on memorization. Did that surprise you guys? Okay, now if I applied critical
thinking to that though, I’m going to suggest that that
may not necessarily be true. That what students perceive as
just memorization, requiring memorization, the faculty
members have in mind that it is a higher level process,
but because students really have focused on memorizing
information the night before, what they see as memorization,
we’re seeing at a higher level. And I’m reminded of that because
in this NSSE, the survey of student engagement, do you
guys participate in that? Okay, well at LSU we do,
and they gave the results, and one of the results our
students said, that faculty really don’t require them to
do a lot of work in class. And I don’t think that that’s
true, but I think when we give assignments that ask students to
analyze something, they’re just really seeing it as explain,
which just means describe, which just means you take
what you’ve read and kind of paraphrase that or
put it in your own words. I think there’s this mismatch
between what we as faculty want students to do at the critical
thinking level, and what they’re doing, but when you think about
it, it makes perfect sense. Because if they’ve never seen a
duck, they will have no idea what a duck looks like and so
we are showing them ducks, they don’t know what
they look like, all they’ve ever
seen are chickens. So they think that this is just
a funny looking chicken because they don’t know anything about
ducks and so what we’ve got to do is really not only give
them a higher level of cognitive engagement, but have
that dialogue with them, that discussion we talked about
this morning on the importance of sharing Bloom’s
taxonomy with students. Because many times I’ve had
students say, well this course, the professor said this course
is about understanding, so I don’t have to memorize anything,
we’re not focusing on memorization, we are
focusing on understanding. And so they conclude that I
don’t have to memorize anything. No, that doesn’t
mean that at all. It means that there are certain
facts, certain things you have to know, and that’s prerequisite
to understanding and analyzing, so it’s not an either or type
thing, but if we don’t have that conversation with students it’s
very, very difficult for students to understand
what the relationship is. And doing those things, those
kinds of activities, that will require them to engage with
each other and with the class in critical thinking, really
has a lot to do with it too. Oh, and that’s the third one,
the amount of interaction among the students in a course. And when students see that it’s
a team effort, they can work together to come up with ideas
with questions even that are important to critical thinking,
that makes a big difference. And a very, very important key
to learning–and we talked about this a little bit this morning
–is that we learn much better when we start with a big picture
and we fit individual details into the big picture as
opposed to starting with individual details, and
this idea that learning has got to be repetitious. It’s continuous, it’s a
repetitive process, and I think many times as faculty, because
we understand the things so well, we think that something
as simple as a definition that once students hear that
they should understand it. And I think we don’t take the
time to help students put it in their own terms, to practice
explaining it to other people so that it really becomes a part
of them and not something, just words that they
are able to spout. And one of the things
that I can show you, and this is on my
computer–okay let me get it. It’s the impact, the negative
impact of student misconceptions in being able to think
critically, ah, thank you. And actually I don’t even need
this because I know them. Well, okay you can open
the [unclear dialogue]. Student misconceptions: in order
to think critically, students do have to be knowledgeable about
certain areas, and many times in our discipline students
come with misconceptions that really mitigate against their
ability to think critically. And I’m going to give you a
couple examples from my experience and ask for–oh, okay
it’s over here, no problem, yes, okay thanks–from my experience
and ask you to share with me a couple of very surprising
misconceptions. One had to do with the
difference–I had a student in general chemistry
who came and he said, Dr. McGuire, I’m having a lot of
trouble distinguishing between liquids and gases. Now, this is a university
student, so I was very surprised when I heard that. At Cornell, I was in explain
mode, so I would explain what the definitions were. But at LSU I’m much
more listen mode and I said, why are you
having difficulty with that? And so he said well
aren’t all gases liquids? And again I was baffled
by that, I’m thinking, well is he thinking that
they’re both fluids, they both have molecules that
are not in fixed positions, and that wasn’t it either. Does anybody have any idea
why he thought that maybe all gases were liquids? Exactly, I asked, well
why do you think that? And he said, every brand of
gas that I pump is a liquid. Okay, alright, and so can you
imagine if we’re talking about the kinetic molecular theory of
gases, if I want him to apply any critical thinking to
the higher level problems, but his mental model
of gases is gasoline, there’s no way that he
can get past that. And another example, and
this was shared with me by a faculty member in Georgia. He was teaching about volume,
calculating the volume of a cube, and so he said, you
know he had his little model and he talked about the
length times the width times the volume, and there
was this one young lady who looked really,
really puzzled. And at the end of class
she came up and he said well, why are you so puzzled? And she picked up the
model and she said, you keep talking about–he
said she was very, very angry– she said you keep talking about
the volume of this thing, I don’t hear a sound
coming out of this. [audience laughter]. Okay, and so sometimes
the problem with our getting students to think
at higher levels critically, is because the stuff that is
so second nature to us that we know what it is, we assume
that students know it and they really don’t. So now I want to throw
it out to you guys, can somebody give me, ah,
okay we have one here, yes. (male speaker).
I guess I was just giving the talk to one of my
nephews, and… (Dr. McGuire).
The talk? The sex talk? (male speaker).
Yeah. [audience laughter]. (Dr. McGuire).
So we’ve got a misconception already, I’m thinking
meta-cognition talk. (male speaker).
I asked him what he already knew about like sex and
condoms and everything, and he was like oh I know
that a condom keeps you from getting STD’s, so
I was like yeah, yeah, but do you know what it is and
he’s like well is it a shot? Because it stops diseases,
he thought it was a medicine. (Dr. McGuire).
Right, right, okay yeah and that reminds me of once
my office manager said– this was at another
university–but she told me that her computer had a virus,
and she wanted to know should she not type on it
because it had a virus. Okay, one more, let’s
just get one more. Name one more, okay, yes. (male speaker).
I have a sister who lives in Chicago with her husband and
they’re both brilliant people, but they have almost
no street smarts. And they have been living up
there for about six months and they came up to one of the toll
booths, and they both came to the astounding realization, at
the same time, that manual lanes were not automatically reserved
for those who drive stick shift. All this time they’ve been
going to the automatic lanes, simply because they… (Dr. McGuire).
I see, okay, yeah. And you know that sounds a
little bit strange, interesting, but a lot of these very simple
kinds of things really do prevent students from
thinking at higher levels. And we talked this morning
about one of the ways, the study cycle, where we
can help students actually really master what we’re
doing in lecture. So many of our students come to
lecture and they sit through, and it’s almost like
they’re taking dictation. The stuff goes from our mouths
or the powerpoint onto the paper without going through here. And we talked about the
importance of helping students preview what is going
to be in the lecture. They can read the italicized
words, the charts and graphs in the textbook, and have them
bring questions to the lecture that they want to
have answered. Then when they participate
in the lecture when we ask those questions and allow
them time to vent their answers with each other, then they
will participate more and then review afterwards. And I want to do a little
activity that shows the importance of how you can
experience something very differently if you’ve done some
previewing, if you have the introductory information, so
you’ve got this big picture. So what I’m going to do is, I’m
going to read a passage and I’m going to ask you three questions
after I’ve read the passage. And I can tell you the first
question is just going to be, what is this passage about.
what is it talking about. Because there’s a specific
task that it’s discussing. Okay, the procedure is
actually quite simple. First you arrange things into
different groups, of course one pile may be sufficient depending
on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere
else due to lack of facilities that’s the next step, otherwise
you’re pretty well set. It is important not to overdue
things, that is it is better to do to few things at
once, than too many. In the short run this
may not seem important, but complications
can easily arise. A mistake can be
expensive as well. At first the whole procedure
will seem complicated, soon however it will become
just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any
end to the necessity of this task in the immediate future,
but then one can never tell. After the procedure is
completed, one arranges the materials into
different groups again. Then they can be put into
their appropriate places. Okay, and don’t yell out
what the task is but if you think you know what the
task is, write it down please. Okay, just write down what
you think it’s talking about. Okay, then the second question
is, one sentence says if you have to go somewhere else
due to lack of facilities, that’s the next step,
so the question is, where could you go
if you lack the facilities? Where could you go if
you lack the facilities? Okay, and the third question,
one sentence says, a mistake can be
expensive as well. And the question is how can
a mistake be expensive? Okay and so now what
I want you to do is take 30 seconds to just
discuss with your neighbor. See what you came up with the
task being, and I’m going to be back in 30 seconds and we’ll
see where we are. Okay, alright, let’s see
what we came up with. Now again, don’t yell it out,
but how many people think they know what the task is, just
raise your hand. Oh, very few. Okay, now in unison just yell
out what you think it is. (audience).
Laundry. (Dr. McGuire).
How many people have ever seen this exercise before? Aw, I should have said if you’ve
seen it before you can’t say it. Okay, it is doing laundry,
the task is doing laundry. Okay, now did anybody who didn’t
get that the task was doing laundry answer the other
two questions right? Absolutely not, did you? Okay, but now without even
hearing the passage again, if I ask you where could you go
if you lack the facilities, what would you tell me? (audience).
Laundromat. (Dr. McGuire).
Laundromat, okay. How can a mistake be expensive? You ruin your clothes, exactly. Okay, now and this is kind of
like the counting vowels thing. The only difference, if we had
done previewing of this task, we would have seen that it
was about doing laundry and everything would have
made a lot more sense and we could build off that. Now I’m going to read
it one more time, and I want you to just listen
and tell me does it even sound different this
time that I read it. The procedure is
actually quite simple. First you arrange things into
different groups, of course one pile maybe sufficient depending
on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere
else due to lack of facilities, that’s the next step, otherwise
you’re pretty well set. It is important not to over do
things, that is it is better to do to few things at
once than too many. In the short run this
may not seem important, but complications
can easily arise. A mistake can be
expensive as well. Oh, this thing just
went off, okay. In the short run there–okay,
let’s see it’s coming back up. Okay here we go–in the
short run this may not seem important, but
complications can easily arise. A mistake can be
expensive as well. At first the whole procedure
will seem complicated, soon however it will become
just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any
end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future,
but then one can never tell. After the procedure is
completed, one arranges the materials into
different groups again, then they can be put into
their appropriate places. Okay, did it sound
different that time? Absolutely, and why did
it sound different? (audience).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Exactly, because you knew what it was about, you could
actually even envision that. And so part of what we’re
looking at with critical thinking is, how do we set the
stage for students to really get more out of what we’re doing, so
that they can see where those relationships are and what
the important points are. Okay, and we did counting vowels
already, and so there are some keys to developing critical
thinking skills, and with the notion that we’re always
trying to move up higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy. And that is there is that
hierarchy of learning levels, and it takes time and effort
to climb this ladder. Okay, we did Bloom’s
already, okay and so, now the next activity actually
is just a faculty activity, so I’m going to excuse our
students now and thank you very, very much for coming,
but the next activity we need to do this
as a faculty group. So is that okay? Okay, very good. Okay so students, thank you
guys very much for coming. Use those critical
thinking…okay, thank you. [applause]. Okay, and so I am going to
use the construction paper that Kristina developed. Yeah, because we have
about 45 minutes left, and yeah this is very
interesting because if I were going to do a mixed group
critical thinking is probably not the topic I would have
picked to do a mixed group because the baseline knowledge
that we as faculty have, is just very different from students
and it’s hard to do this with first-year students
and faculty, but what I wanted to do
is an exercise going over, it’s actually Edward de Bono’s, the critical thinking hat,
“The Six Thinking Hats”. Has anybody ever heard of
that or done that activity? (male speaker).
No, I’ve just heard of De Bono. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, you’ve heard of De Bono. Well it’s a very good
activity that we can do with students and classes,
and it helps them to understand that there are different
types of thinking. Because part of critical
thinking is to understand when you’re making assumptions, when
you are basing your thoughts and ideas on emotions as
opposed to facts, when you are looking just at the positive
and not looking at what some of the other perspectives are,
going back to that second definition about really looking
at different perspectives. And so, what De Bono did–so
I’m going to talk about what the thinking hats are, and then
I’m going to just divide us into groups with different colored
hats to attack a problem, and that problem is how can we
increase the critical thinking ability of students at EIU. And as much as I was trying to
critically think how I could do that with faculty and students,
I was drawing a blank. But, the first, okay he
has–oh, yes thank you. There are different colored
hats, and when I do this in class I actually
bought some little caps, but we’re just going to use
construction paper here, and we’re going to arrange ourselves
into groups in a little bit. But the white cap is just the
information cap, so if you have a problem that we’re looking at
how to address it, that particular cap is worn by the
person who’s thinking about, what information do
I need to have? And one of the things I think
when we are teaching students about critical thinking and
problem solving, have you noticed that so often just
the what do I have given, students don’t seem to
know where to start. And so they don’t know how to
address, what information do I need to answer this question
to solve this problem, and where am I? So the white cap is just what
information is available and what information is needed. The red cap represents the kind
of thinking that it is not based on fact or knowledge, it’s
just based on intuition. What do I feel about this
particular situation or this problem? And then the gray cap is the
one that’s very cautious, and it says well you know,
it may appear that this is going to work well, but
have you thought about this particular aspect of it? So it’s the one that really
has us go into cautious mode and critical thinking. And then the yellow cap
is the cap that is worn, sometimes you know it’s
this sunny, sunshine–what are all the positives of this
particular way of thinking, or this particular
way of doing stuff? And then the green cap is
the one that really looks at alternatives and possibilities.
so sometimes people think of that as the
creative hat, okay? We have looked at trying to
increase the, I’ll go to LSU. We’ve looked at trying to
increase the graduation rates by increasing the requirements
for incoming students. We’ve upped the SAT, ACT, and
we’ve seen some progress in that, but are there
other ways we can do it? And one of the things that we
found, and I noticed, you know I looked you guys up on the web
and I noticed that your students have fairly high ACT
and SAT scores. And they have, they have good
high school GPAs, 3.5 and above. But what we’re finding at LSU,
and we were told this by the retention specialist, that when
you start to get better prepared students, they really expect
more in the way of academic support, and they are typically
a little more demanding in tell me what you want. Have you all found that at all? Yeah, and the reason for that is
that most of those students, many I should say, many of those
students have very high GPAs, they’re great on standardized
tests, because they have had tutors for many,
many, many years. Our younger daughter, who’s
an Opera singer in New York, the youngest student that
she tutored up there was, guess how old, just
yell out a number. Lower than, younger than six. Younger than three. [audience reaction]. Two, two years old. And she was hired to work with
a two-year-old because they hadn’t taken their normal trip
to France over the summer, and he was going to start
an emersion pre-school, French emersion,
French language. So she was hired to tutor him in
French, just talk French to him so that by the time he started
school, he would be prepared. I’m hearing friends who have
students in elementary school saying that, you know, now that
the curricula are online for these, one friend, a colleague
at LSU said that one little boy, the teacher noticed he was
getting everything right on all the tests, but he didn’t seem
to understand a lot about it. And so she talked with him,
and it turned out his mom was downloading everything
in the curriculum, and even the tests
that were given. And so, so sometimes our
students, and again, it’s not that they are not capable
because they are very capable. It’s just that the behaviors
that we’re expecting, are orthagonal to the behaviors
that they have had to exhibit to get the high ACT scores and
things that they’re getting. And so, if we’re looking at
alternative ways to get them to think creatively and recognize
that just because we’re getting better students, that doesn’t
mean that automatically there’s going to be
more critical thinking. And in some cases, it’s the
opposite because they’re the ones who are coming and wanting
to, just tell me what to do so I can make an A, and I
will do that and make an A and that’s not
what we’re about. And then the blue cap
is the metacognitive, the managing your thinking,
sort of the metacognitive cap, thinking about your
own thinking. And it really is the overview. So it pretty much decides,
well, do we need, is this discussion
going negative? Do we need more optimistic
discussion here? Are there more facts that we
need to get us out of a rut? And so, if we, in the next
slides it’s just a little bit more detail about
each of the hats. But what information
do we have available, what would we like to
have, what do we need, how are we going to get
the missing information? And the caution with
the white hat is that you can really get
stuck there, yes. What the, oh yeah, yeah,
in fact, they brought them. I’ve got them, yeah,
and so, I have enough. (female speaker).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, well I’ve got them. I was just going to
pass them out. I think I’m all set, yes,
okay, yeah, we’re great. (female speaker).
[unclear audio]. (Dr. McGuire).
Oh, yeah, absolutely. (male speaker).
So you would take this parallel if you had problem X, you would
in order to really look at it more comprehensively, you would
go through these six different hats asking these different
questions and they’re all parallel, but a different with
each one and essentially you would have a lot more
information than you did. (Dr. McGuire).
Absolutely, and so, the way you would use
this in class is, and I’ve seen it used
in science classes. Let’s say we’re talking
about global warming. How are we going to
address global warming? Then the white hat folks
would be looking at, well what information
do we need? Well we need facts about exactly
what global warming is, what is causing global warming,
what have been the trends. And so, what you do is you can
divide up the students in groups and there will be a group for
each of the different colored hats and their responsibility
is to address the task for that particular hat. And what it does is exactly
what you said it does, it really helps students to
understand that thinking has so many different components. And what happens is, many
times, students are, they’re in some of
these hats anyway, but they, yeah in
the emotional hat. I’ve had students come
to my office just so, one young man came, he was
livid that a teacher had given him zero on an assignment
that he was supposed to write a reflective paper. Well he didn’t spend any time
really reflecting on it, he just kind of copied
what was in the thing. But his, his thing was,
well she gave me zero. That means that I didn’t
put any effort into this, and I did put effort into this. It took me a half an
hour to do what I did. Now, I could see if she gave me
10 or 20, but zero? I didn’t deserve zero,
and so his emotions had just totally taken over. And so what this does is help
students recognize that there are different components
to your thinking, and part of critical thinking
is being able to analyze when I’m over in
emotional mode, as opposed to rational mode. When I’m seeing nothing
but the negative. When I have students
come in saying, okay well I flunked the first
test, I’ll never, ever, ever get to go to medical
school, you know? And then they spiral down, and
that’s very disadvantageous. And so, what this does is helps
them see that bigger picture of what critical thinking
is all about. (male speaker).
[unclear audio]. You’ll be in an emotional
stage and there is nothing going right for you. (Dr. McGuire).
Exactly, and I actually found that I was using it–
I learned about this, I had a workshop about
three years ago. And, and so we have staff
meetings now where, if we are looking at an issue,
we will assign certain people to have the different
thinking hats. And, and I started to
catch myself because I was always in gray hat mode. You know, somebody would say
something and I’d say, oh but you know the problem with that
might be, and then, stop it. You know, put on the
yellow hat sometimes. And you can really get out of
a rut and move units forward if you’re recognizing that. And then have you noticed that
there are some people, and I’m typically not a gray hat person,
I’m more a yellow hat person. But there’s some people who
they only have one hat. Have you noticed that? And it is gray, you know? And then there are other
people who have nothing but the yellow hat and
you feel like thinking, you know, Polly Anna
get out of it, you know? Earth to whomever. And so, but it just, it just
really helps in many, many different venues to understand
this level of thinking. So, thanks for
pointing that out. Okay, so the white
hat, you know, how are we going to get
the missing information? And then, for the red cap, just
what is my gut reaction? Because, if we recognize that
our gut reaction to this is negative but there’s no rational
reason for it to be negative, then you can kind of
hold it at bay and look at the other perspectives. And, you know, what are
my feelings right now? What does my intuition tell me? And, sometimes, instead of being
very volatile, you can control that release of steam because
you recognized you’re in red hat mode, and you do the, you know,
the self-talk, you know, calm down this is not about all that. Okay and then the gray cap. What could be the
possible problems? What could some of
the difficulties be? What are the risks and where
should we be cautious? And we’re not saying that the
gray hat is not very valuable, because it is but it
can be overused. And think of it as
food– it’s essential but it can be overdone,
so it’s necessary, but in the right dose. And then the yellow cap–
what are the benefits? We’re not looking at any of the
detriments, just the benefits. What are the positives,
what values, what are the values of
doing it this way? And sometimes the yellow hat can
be used to introduce a different perspective because, many times
when you introduce a different perspective then people are
always kind of wanting to say why this probably
would not work. And so if you’re totally
in yellow cap mode, then you suspend for the time
being, and then this is what the metacognitive hat can do. When you’re in yellow cap
mode and somebody introduces a negative, then it says no,
we’re not in negatives now, we’re only looking
at positives. Not that the negatives
aren’t important, but they’re just not
important at that point. And it can be used as
an assessment tool, when you’re using the gray hat
and the yellow hat together. These are the cautious points,
these are the benefits. And so you can, really, use it
to do a risk/benefit analysis also, and then the green cap is
the one where you’re looking at alternatives and a lot
of creative ideas. And so it’s asking are there
any other ways to do this? Let’s think totally
outside the box. What if we totally got rid
of ACT and SAT scores, what if we just had people
interview for this? So out of the box thinking and
any kind of difficulties it can also look at, how can we
address these difficulties so that they are really
not difficulties? And so their job, the green cap
people, their job is to search for new ways of doing
things, and no caution. With this cap all cautions
aside, the sky’s the limit. Then the blue cap,
managing thinking, Thinking about thinking. That’s the one that says
okay, what’s our overall agenda here, and what amount of
the different types of thinking are important to apply at
this particular moment? And what do we need for the next
step if we’ve put out all of the positives, then maybe it’s time
to have the gray hat way in and tell us what
the cautions are. And then how can we
summarize–it kind of brings you in after things have gone in all
different directions–then it kind of brings you in and says
this is where we are right now. To summarize we’ve got this, and
so it’s the metacognitive hat. Okay, and so what I wanted
us to do was spend about 20 minutes really addressing a
problem using the hats model. So what we’re going
to look at is, how can we significantly
increase the critical thinking ability of Eastern Illinois
University students? Okay, and so what I would like
for us to do is to just divide up into groups, yeah. And we, oh okay you,
and I was just going to give one page to the group. Okay and yeah we can
rearrange the chairs. We can put them in circles,
and so there are six groups. How many, one, two, three,
well you know what, since it doesn’t matter
what group we’re in, let’s just count and we’ll start
here and we’ll count to six. And so. [audience numbering off]. Six, okay she’s going to be six. Oh, I’m sorry, so let’s
have all the ones, let’s sort of
congregate up here. Okay, all the ones up here, and
the one’s are going to be the white cap thinking. And so what you’re going to
be thinking about–okay and you can just give
a sheet to everybody. And then we’re going to have
the twos back here please, and the twos–let me go back to
see what the order was that we had–okay the twos are
going to be red cap, and so you’re going to be thinking
about intuition and feelings, what do you think most faculty
reaction is going to be to an increase in
critical thinking. Okay, and then group three I
would like to have you guys I’m going to say right up here. All of the threes
please up here, and yeah pretend that’s
gray, that’s good. And so, the gray cap folks
are going to be looking at what are the cautions, what
are the problems that we might run into if we’re trying
to increase critical thinking in Eastern Illinois
University students? And so I’m going to have
the fours right back here. Are you a four? (male speaker).
I am. (Dr. McGuire).
Well you’re in the right place. Okay, and so the fours are going
to be yellow cap thinking, and so you’re just looking at
what are all the benefits of increasing critical
thinking, yes, benefits of anything that might do. Then I’m going to have the
fives right over here. And my fives are going to
be the green cap thinking, and so you’re going to be
thinking about what are some things that you might do that we
probably haven’t thought of, probably haven’t tried? Okay, and then I’m going to have
the sixes that are going to be the blue caps, I’m going to have
you guys right up here. Okay and you guys are
the CPU of the computer. (male speaker).
CPU, that should be easy. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay we are ready to see where we are and okay, yes. So the way that this is going
to work is who’s our control, our CPU of the whole group? Our blues right, okay and so
we’re going to pass the mic to them and they’ll decide
how we are going to have the discussion, which hats are
going to be involved, and I will give them the mic. (male speaker).
Is this thing on? Alright after a lot of
careful consideration, we’ve figured out how we
would like to do things, and this is the only
way it can be done. So we expect your support. Actually, we thought that in
looking at all the different angles of this, that we wanted
to hear from the yellow group first, to kind of set a baseline
of what some of the benefits would be if we were to help
students increase their positive thinking, or their
critical thinking. So, and I’m sorry I don’t know
which group is yellow, okay. And what do you see as
some of the benefits of helping students do this? (Dr. McGuire).
I think we have to pass the mic. (male speaker).
I agreed to. (Dr. McGuire).
Dean Augustine, I’m going to ask you to go up there so
that they can hear you. (Dr. Robert Augustine).
I got to take my thing with me. [audience laughter]. Like this, can you hear me? The consensus among our group
for this area was that critical thinking would create students
who would be better citizens. They would be able to evaluate
their world more successfully, and if they’re better citizens,
that has a benefit to everyone who lives in our state that they
would also have the ability to judge information more
successfully, not be naive and be able to understand their
world more successfully, and they would also be
better parents as a result. We also felt that they would
also be more successful alumni as a result of all of that,
therefore if they are better teachers, if they’re better
psychologists and such, that this would have a
statewide impact as a result. They would have more job success
allowing them to move ahead, and that for us on our campus
they would be better learners, perform better for all of
our faculty on their tests, and link into our
lifelong learning. And also make the classes more
successful and more effective through their interaction, more
successful and interesting for themselves and for the
professors who were there. So those were the issues that
we summarized in our group. (Dr. McGuire).
Very good, give them a hand. Okay, and our blue group, where do you want to go next? (male speaker).
We felt once we’ve established a positive baseline, you know,
for looking at the benefits, we would like to hear from the
red group next to see how they felt about it was kind of
consistent with the audience. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, so come on up, our spokesperson
for the red group. Uh-oh. [unclear dialogue]. (male speaker).
Can you hear me now? Okay good, we were suppose
to be intuition and feelings. So the first thing we
said was yes we can. We don’t know where
that came from. So we think it is possible,
I mean I think that’s the gut reaction we all had. We differed a little
bit on whether or not it is intentional. We think in many cases
that faculty believe that that’s what they’re doing
in their classrooms, but are they necessarily
doing it or do they just think that they’re doing it? That somehow just by
being in the classroom, somehow the students
are just getting that. We also talked about, well
if we were trying to do it, how do we need to do it
to make it effective and we came up
with a few things. Relevance to students’
daily lives in some way. So tying things back to
something that the students can apply it to perhaps might
be a better way for them to actually think about this. In some cases, at least with one
of the people in our group, they were tying it to their
classes in their profession. So, students taking what they
learned in their classes and then actually applying
it for their degree program and their profession. So, and I think it that case
it works fairly effectively because the application
is probably what works. We talked about more
interdisciplinary teaching and learning. So if you had a project for
example, and you had three classes–let’s just say an
english class, a psychology class, and a chemistry
class– that were all given this topic or various
aspects of the topic, what would they come
up with at the end? And then, the last one, maybe if
some faculty aren’t engaged, is it because they’re
threatened by it? So if the students start
thinking critically, will the students start
asking them questions that they don’t want
to have to answer? Or can’t answer as
the case may be. [audience applause]. (Dr. McGuire).
Thank you very much. Okay my blue group, where
do you want to go next? (male speaker).
We’d like to hear from the white group next as far as
what information we need. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay. (male speaker).
Just talk into it like this? Yeah, alright, well
we’ve established four different
categories of goals. The first reviews is like
the kind of research we’d have to do–we imagined
committees doing this, that we would defer
to them to create. But, we’ve got reviews of
academic literature, like, you know, kind of inspired by
what we’ve been doing today, but I’m sure there’s a
lot more on the subject. We could probably consult
with Shauna here, too. And, McGuire,
Dr. McGuire here. There’s business solutions, like
we noticed that there’s, like, critical thinking is important
to businesses as well, so kind of dove-tailing off
of red’s intuition there. Like, that use is something
we could research and learn more about. And current EIU status, like
is there anything like this going on, like, do they talk
about critical thinking in, say, logic over in the
Philosophy Department? Do they have someone
who is a specialist in it? Then, after that, we’d have
to begin networking with potential trainers
here and abroad. If we had the resources,
we’d have to figure out how to field them,
what they’d be paid? If we didn’t have the
resources, we’d have to figure out how
to get them here. We’d also have to develop
and agree on a definition for critical thinking, some kind
of a mission statement which would probably be informed
by both Bloom’s taxonomy, Scriven and Paul’s definition,
and anything else we found in our reviews earlier. And then finally, we’d also have
to decide on how growth will be measured, how to quantify,
like, how to decide okay have we met this goal? Are we now 20 percent
more critical then we were beforehand, and
so on and so forth. (Dr. McGuire).
Great. [audience applause]. (male speaker).
Next we need to hear from the gray hats group. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay. (male speaker).
Hi, we in the gray group are worried about assessment. How are we going to assess
critical thinking, how are we going to define it? We’re worried about
development and coordination throughout all the disciplines,
you know, what is critical thinking defined differently
between departments? Integrating it I guess,
the same. Are we going to risk losing
content time, you know, just take, you know,
we decided that critical thinking is
a process, you know, it takes a lot of time you know,
can we do it in the classroom? Re-training and more
teaching materials we’re sort of concerned
about and we’re also yes, Eastern’s class sizes are
relatively small, but there are still a few of them out
there that are quite large. How are we going to institute
critical thinking in a class size of 160 students, when
that doesn’t really lend itself very well to discussion. So, I think those are
the main concerns. Anything else? Alright. [audience applause]. (male speaker).
The last group we need to hear from is the green hat
group, about alternatives and maybe I’m asking
them prematurely, because I would assume you kind of
have to hear some of their’s first before you can come up
with those alternatives. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, the green hat group. Oh yeah, you need to come up
so the folks can see you. (male speaker).
Alright, we’ve looked at how to come about
with creating more critically thinking students,
and one of the ways that we talked about was creating more
creative presentation methods. In other words, how can we
deliver the information that the students need, but do it in
a creative manner that will maybe hit on all the different
learning methods and so forth. Have more open guidelines. Many times, we’re just so
strict, you know maybe relax a little bit and allow a
little bit more creativity in the guidelines. And a practical approach,
or taking it from theory to practice, to real life
situations, trying to apply it so that it can become more
meaningful and so forth. But that’s what our wonderful
green group came up with. [audience applause, laughter]. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, great. So do we have another
comment to make? Okay, back to our blue group. Yes, thank you very much. And then our blue group, again. (male speaker).
Actually, the CPU. (Dr. McGuire).
Okay, the CPU. (male speaker).
Yes, and so then with the computer, you’ve
got the background and lots of things occur in the
background of a computer that often in today’s environment,
people are not aware of, because, all we see
is the foreground. And so then, as all
that we have heard, there are some particulars
as relates to if we all work together as we have said. And the first is, Horace
Mann-ian perspective which is education, public
education is designed to make for a better citizenry. And in so doing, you make
for a better society. And we’ve heard that echoed
throughout our discussion on this afternoon, and
then secondly, a critical pedagogus will
tell you that the classroom is designed for the
co-construction of learning. Of learning, not of the
material but learning. Because we all come to
classes with textbooks. We often will have
students read articles. That means that many of the
times it’s already there, but then it’s the co-construction
of the learning environment that makes for the critical
thinking opportunity and the critical thinking process that
then leads to, as many of the teams have spoken, leads to
what’s called collaboration. Where we all work it
together, and collaborate. So what they may know in the
Chemistry Department can also be utilized in the Philosophy
Department, and at the same time in the the Athletic Department,
because it’s all dealing with the same individuals, the same
entity for the learning, called people or students. And so when you pull all those
together, you create what is called community and then
you don’t have to ask where are we going, what are
we doing, because then the I will not be substituted for the
we, and therefore we will then be what it is that even the
President has said he would like to see us be, and
that is first choice. And so, if we put it all
together, each one, it will make for a whole
body and it will also make our students real students, as
opposed to just mere machines. The other way that often is done
is deposit, deposit, deposit, deposit and then withdrawal. Well, guess what, if you’re in
the United States of America, you know today that whatever
you’re withdrawing, it’s fictitious, because
there’s something called, there’s something called a
deficit, so how can you withdraw if
there’s a deficit? Okay, so anyway, we just wanted
to share that with you. [audience applause]. (Dr. McGuire).
Thank you very much. Okay yeah, we can
all move back now. Does everybody get an idea
how this really works? And so, my question is, this is
actually only the third time I’ve done this activity with
a group of faculty. And I always like to take,
get feedback. Do you think this is something
you could use in your class that would work,
with your group? Okay, okay, yeah. And, again, what we find is
that it really opens students’ eyes up to the fact that they
have been engaging in a lot of different kind of things and
we’re going to be finished– oh, it’s ten minutes till– okay
we’re going to be finished here very quickly. But, it really does open
students’ eyes up to the fact that there are things they
can be in control of their own critical thinking. And so, sort of as a bottom
line, we can teach students to think critically by using these
reflection activities in our classes where they actually
get to think about their actions, what
the consequences are and propose different
ways of acting. Using the thinking hats method,
either with construction paper or, you know, bringing in real
caps, or having little table tent things on their tables. We talked a lot about
communication, and if the courses of
communication across the curriculum kind of course,
then students are going to be involved with not only oral
communication, but technological communication,
written communication, because that is one of the skills that
when you talk with employers, when you talk with
anybody out there, they want students to be
able to communicate. And students really, that’s why
they resonate so much with the idea that if they prepare
to teach the information, it’s so different, we talked
about this this morning, it’s so different then just
studying to pass the test. Because if you’ve got
to communicate it, you’re really approaching it
from a whole different level. Service learning courses, and I
know you have a service learning initiative here, but several
people talked about making the information
relevant to students. And if they’ve got to use
that information to go out in the community, and perform
a service, or even if they’re working with middle school or
elementary school students, teaching them basic principles
of hygiene or physiology, or whatever, that has been,
that has proven effective. And then the last is, well the
last one that I put up here is making all
examinations cumulative, because if we’re talking about
this transfer of information, students do tend to like to
compartmentalize information. And one of the practices, also
that I’ve seen that sometimes mitigates against students
really learning thoroughly, and it’s, I think on the
surface it seems like a very good practice, but
that’s in dropping one exam. Because we think dropping one
exam is very favorable to students, but so often I’ve
seen this over and over, I saw this at Cornell, I see
it at LSU, that really good students will make an all-out
push and do very well on the first three exams, and
then they decide okay, the fourth exam is the
one I’m going to drop. So they don’t do any studying
for the fourth exam, but then the final exam
is cumulative, and so that covers that information and
many times it is more heavily weighted toward the information
at the end, and so then their grade at the end of the course
drops off a whole letter grade because, essentially almost
a third of the course they haven’t attended
to because of that. But if we made all exams
cumulative, so that they know they can’t just borrow the
information for the first test and have it repossessed, and
borrow a whole new set of information for the second test. That they do have to go back
and maintain that information, but we as faculty though, would
have a responsibility for revisiting and giving them
questions that allow them to go back and use the
earlier information. Anybody have any other ideas
that we might add to that? Okay, and normally I exercise
wait time, where I would wait, but I do have a plane
to catch, and so. Okay, and I wanted to, let’s
see, I think this is the yeah, the follow-up for this
one was just, you know, select a course you’re teaching,
and describe how you think you might be able to incorporate,
or re-incorporate strategies that would improve critical
thinking in your course. And then the other one which was
related to what we did earlier, but a strategy that you
could use to teach students how to learn the course
material, because again we find that 90 percent
of our students are in what we call memorization-
regurgitation mode. And as long as they’re in
memorization/regurgitation mode, they really don’t have the
ability to think critically because they’re not seeing the
connections between concepts. So, certainly you know use any
of our website information, or any of the sources to
just do a little bit of thinking about that and
we don’t recommend that you go out and you throw out the
whole baby with the bath water. You might think of just
trying one, just one strategy. Because I know everybody in here
is already a great professor, but just what kind of things
could you tweak to get a little bit more benefit
out of what you’re doing. And also, every place I go, and
this is for Dr. Pearson, there is a wonderful faculty
member doing really innovative great things, and but
most of the other faculty don’t ever learn
what they’re doing. And so, we always recommend
that, you know, if you can identify those people on campus
who are doing really creative things to increase critical
thinking, then when we do faculty development, have
some of those people lead it. And then you’ve got people right
here on campus that can serve as the local experts in this area,
and then work together as a team to do that. And so I wanted to
follow up I think, yeah ,there are
references at the end. But I wanted to end,
actually reading your Eastern Illinois University
mission statement, because if I asked
anyone to come up and recite the mission
statement, could you? Okay, I won’t, actually, it’s a
very long mission statement. I was a little surprised, okay
and my computer went off again, so I have to get it
booted back up. But I think that it does
address everything that we were saying today. Okay, the mission statement– Eastern Illinois University is a
public comprehensive university that offers superior,
accessible undergraduate and graduate education. Students learn the methods and
results of free and rigorous inquiry in the arts, humanities,
sciences, and professions, guided by a faculty known for
its excellence in teaching, research, creative activity,
and service. The University community
is committed to diversity and inclusion and fosters
opportunities for student-faculty scholarship and
applied learning experiences within a student-centered
campus culture. Throughout their education,
students refine their abilities to reason and to communicate
clearly so as to become responsible citizens
and leaders. Now that’s dynamite, isn’t it? And so, I think what we were
trying to talk about today is how we can help more of
our students to help Eastern Illinois University
realize its mission, so that you’ll have 90 percent
of your students leaving here with the kinds of skills
that are addressed in your mission statement. Okay, so again thank
you guys very much. I’ve enjoyed talking with you. [audience applause]. And Dr. Pearson has my email
address and contact information, and everything, and so feel free
to contact me, but I know you’re going to have great fun
with your students. Yeah your students, I was really
impressed with your students. Weren’t you guys
impressed with them? Yeah, and that’s what
I say, you know, I’ve discovered that they
are brilliant people, they just don’t have
the right behaviors because nobody ever told them
what they needed to do. Okay, Dr. Pearson. (Dr. Pearson).
Thank you. Let’s give Dr. Maguire another
hand, she’s had a long day. [audience applause]. The ability to speak to two
audiences is, it really takes a lot of skill and talent and I
really do commend you. And, yeah, really she
knew about this morning, but this afternoon was
really a challenge for her. And I just would ask if you
would be so kind to fill out the evaluation sheets in your
folders, we’d much rather have the hard copies, and
leave them on the table. And I want to at least thank
the faculty development office staff, they did a wonderful
job really marketing. Bev Cruse and the media, did
the gigantic, oversized, you wanted to know
who did that. She did, I know you can’t
take it on the plane. We have to get her to St. Louis
and back home safe. So if you have any questions,
she did, she hung around this morning, but she may not
be able to hang around this afternoon because she does need
to get to a six o’clock flight. But please feel free, I’ve never
met such a humble woman that is compassionate about what she
does and she’s really humble, and I want to say
again, thank you from the depths of our heart. And I can really say that from
the bottom of not just me, but a representation of EIU. Thank you EIU
family for staying. ♪ [music–no dialogue] ♪♪.