V.O. Robert Swartz: Thinking based learning

I'm Robert Schwartz I'm from an organization called the Center for teaching thinking it's a project that focuses on how to transform classrooms change the way instruction takes place in the classroom the research shows that 92 to 95 percent of what we all learn in school has no impact on the lives of students after they leave school that's where a thinking base learning comes in the first question I think I'm the most important one is what is really thinking based learning okay well actually that's easy it's learning based on thinking every day you make decisions you solve problems you make predictions you select information that people are giving you and decide you're going to accept it and believe it and act on it and those kinds of thinking most of the time people don't do those very well what we try to do is to help students learn how to do those different kinds of thinking skillfully I mean I just to give you I'll give you one example you know often although not always when people have to make a choice they think about the consequences what's going to happen okay and that's very important but most of the time they think about the good consequences then the thing that has the most influence on them is advertising and in advertising they'll show you a picture of something they want to sell you something and they'll tell you these wonderful things about it it sounds so good and they don't think about the bad cuts of disadvantages those are things you need to know when you make choices and you learn not to think about those things through the way advertising is everything you do involves thinking and you better do it well okay talking about doing it well what are some of the typical mistakes that we make when we well okay I mean you know people they learn mainly through TV and have you you learn that you better make decisions fast so there's a very hasty thinking so people come to conclusions quickly slow down don't make quick judgments because often they're not right and you can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you help students apply that to everything when they're older and married and they're buying a house okay but bring it back into school that's where the real action is because there are plenty of things a student study that involved decisions especially in history suppose you were Napoleon and this person Wellington challenged you to a battle on the fields at Waterloo use the strategy for decision-making that we've figured out you're going to think about your options try to think about the different pro and con consequences so get some practice in thinking that way and try to figure out what you think the best thing to do is and then let's compare it to what Napoleon actually did and if you think what he did was not a wise choice well why what motivated him let's understand how people work better one of the important types of thinking that I have come to feel is really sort of central and crucial for students to learn is what I call parts whole thinking little kids learn about the human body and they learn what are the parts of the human body okay well they learn about the face what are the parts of the face all they've learned are words to describe these things what we need to learn is what they do so one of the next question that the teachers will prompt the students to ask is well what would happen if the parts were this part was missing what would happen if you didn't have a nose okay now you can I mean you can just think about that for a second and you realize they're going to be bringing to the surface their ideas about what the nose does so they're not just memorized things they're thinking about what they're learning so if they understand it in a richer and deeper way that's the way to learn you

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