Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Thought-Filled Curriculum

Posted by Tara Della Rocca

Costa, A. (2008). The thought-filled curriculum. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 20-24.

This article provides support for teaching thinking in the classroom. It suggests that skillful thinking must be explicitly taught to students.

"Curriculums must become more thought-filled in the sense of enlarging students' capacities to think deeply and creatively."

"Humans are born with the capacity and inclination to think. Nobody has to "teach us how to think" just as no one teaches us how to move or walk. Moving with precision and style, however, takes much time and coaching...Like strenuous movement, skillful thinking is hard work. And as with athletics, students need practice, reflection, and coaching to think well."

"Although thinking is innate and spontaneous, skillful thinking must be cultivated."

"We can catalyze learning to think by making thinking skills explicit. We should use cognitive terminology and label and identify processes, saying, for example, "So as you're analyzing this problem..." (Costa & Marzano, 2001). Teachers should also employ thinking maps and visual tools (Hyerle, 2004) and model problem solving, decision making and investigating (Swartz et al., 2007)."

The 3 resources mentioned in the last quoted passage are useful for also describing the value of teaching thinking.
Costa, A. & Marzano, R. (2001). Teaching the language of thinking. In A. Costa (Ed.), Developing minds: A resource book for teaching thinking (pp. 379-383). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Hyerle, D. (Ed.). (2004). Student successes with thinking maps. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Swartz, R.. Costa, A., Kallick, B., Beyer, B., & Reagan, R. (2007). Thinking based learning. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

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