Thinking Critically And Creatively

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This idea was suggested by one of my graduate students, a middle school math teacher, to encourage students to play with the concepts related to understanding and using percents while developing recognition and understanding of many of the ways in which percentages are used in everyday life and how this affects them personally.

Step One: Listing (Individual Brainstorming) Begin by having students quickly list as many situations as they can think of in which percents may be used in real life.

Gifted students need to be involved with analysis, evaluation, and creative synthesis of data and information, asking new questions and generating innovative ideas, solutions, and products because of their advanced cognitive development, preference for complexity, questioning of the status quo, idealism, and need for social action.

This is particularly true of the creatively gifted learner who must find relevance and opportunities for creative synthesis and expression in order to truly engage in the learning process.

Students may have fun playing around with such activities, but may not actually address content in a meaningful, purposeful way, nor actually engage in the higher order thinking intended.

Critical thinking involves analysis and evaluation rather than merely accepting ideas or information: understanding of relationships, similarities, and differences; looking for patterns; classifying and categorizing; understanding cause/effect; seeing trends and big ideas; predicting outcomes; considering multiple perspectives; making judgments; and questioning and reasoning.

The more data students have to work with on the topic, the better.

Unique or original ideas that fit are especially valued as they reflect flexibility in thinking.

The findings of this study indicate a significant decline of creativity among American students in recent decades, which the authors describe as a “creativity crisis.” They attribute this decline to overemphasis on standardization in curriculum, instruction, and assessment in American schools—with emphasis on acquisition of information, facts and details, and finding “the right answer” rather than critical analysis and evaluation of content or creative exploration of ideas and innovative thinking.

The answer to this crisis, they say, is teaching critical and creative thinking skills in context of content instruction.


Comments Thinking Critically And Creatively

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