September 8, 2009

Teaching and Parenting Critical Thinkers


I have much to say about the things I learned and people I met at Dragon*Con this past weekend, so I'm going to break it all up into a series of posts. One of the final highlights was getting to meet some blogging friends in person. I met Colin from Science-Based Parenting and Laurie from Rational Moms. Listen for a shout out about Science-Based Parenting on this week's upcoming release of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast.

Not only did I get to meet Colin, but we actually got to have dinner together (sushi, of course) and discuss all things parental, educational, scientific, blogging, and just plain goofy. It was a real treat.

The point is, we need to try to use our critical thinking tools and sense of inquiry with everything, not just "science" as a subject or in classroom teaching. Parenting is an endeavor fraught with all kinds of misleading information and goofy claims--and hardly anyone seems shy letting you know they think you're doing it wrong. So it's nice to have some bloggers help the parents out there make more informed choices.

Most readers of this blog know how important inquiry and critical thinking are to raising life-long learning and in my post the other day I mentioned how excited some people were when I mentioned I was a teacher. That's because they're promoting their new organization, the CTEG or Critical Thinking Education Group at criticalteaching.org. What an awesome resource! Who wouldn't benefit from sharpening up their critical thinking and teaching skills? Do check them out.

I've also added a link in the sidebar to the James Randi Educational Foundation which is behind most of the great critical thinking resources out there, or at least inspired them. I've also added one to the International Year of Astronomy which I've mentioned many times but can't say enough good things about. Check 'em out and while you're there pick up a Galileoscope for you and a deserving child somewhere in the world. It's $20 for yours and only another $15 for the kid. One laptop per child is nice, but how about just opening up the stars to them for a measly $15? How awesome is that?

3 comments:

Bethany said...

I actually teach at a "model school for teaching critical thinking." The teachers at our school have been trained (and some of us are now coaches) by Bob Swartz in order to integrate his critical thinking approach into every classroom on campus from prek3 all the way through 8th grade. Our slogan is "Teaching students HOW to think, not what to think." I agree that critical thinking is an integral tool in developing our students' minds - as well as the Habits of Mind. You can check out more at www.NCTT.net

Teacherninja said...

Cool! I'll check it out. I wish your slogan was the general idea for ALL schools. Thanks.

Teacherninja said...

Hey, Bethany, I just checked out your blog and loved our "Shamed" post. I have comments, but the "comment" feature wasn't working. What's up with that?