Special Message from Robert Swartz…

Special Message from Robert Swartz…

This year, to coincide with the publication of my new books  on Thinking to Learn, I have reshaped the Summer Institute to provide not only training for teachers specifically on how to teach students both critical and creative thinking skills, and on how students can use these skills to deepen their content learning, but to enrich such instruction by explicitly incorporating new strategies for teaching students to improve their thinking this way that have been introduced into classroom instruction over the past 25 years.

Like learning any skill the core of TBL involves students in learning what to do to think skillfully, doing this by using these skills to engage with important content they are learning, and practicing this so that they use skillful thinking as a regular part of their thinking life.

This is what the students do in TBL classrooms. But what do teachers do to make this happen? And to make this happen while at the same time respecting their students becoming the center of the classroom so that they engage in active deep learning of the content without the teacher lecturing or the students having to memorize what is in their textbooks to give back on memory-oriented tests? What does the teacher do instead?  What does the teacher do to help their students learn how to learn well on their own through good thinking?

Here are some of the specific themes we will emphasize in 2019

  • Teaching students how to develop and use explicit thinking organizers, both verbal and visual, to improve their thinking
  • Using special extended questioning techniques and “thinking routines” to help students construct a deep understanding of what they are thinking about
  • Helping students develop thinking behaviors that create thoroughness in their thinking (“Habits of  Mind”)
  • Teaching students how to stand back and monitor their own thinking for self improvement and self-guidance in good thinking (e.g. using “The Ladder of Metacognition”)
  • How to help students make thinking social by sharing it in active collaborative thinking groups.
  • Helping students develop thinking motivators like curiosity, the search for truth, and the desire to communicate clearly, so that they develop the disposition to use good thinking in their lives.

And finally

  • How to incorporate TBL techniques to respond to 21st Century challenges for good practical creativity tempered by critical thinking in extended PBL/Project work of the kind now practiced in many schools.

I have invited special guests who know some of these methodological innovations first hand to work with participants as you all learn how to bring these to your own students. And the summer institute team will work directly with you all to incorporate these techniques into the core of TBL in your own instructional context.

I invite you all to join us in Madrid for this very special CCT Summer Institute 2019. I expect heavy demand for the summer institute this year and we have a cap on enrollments so if you plan to come get your registrations in early.

For more information about the Summer Institute or register go to: http://www.teach-think.org/event/ctt-si/

Robert Swartz, March, 2019


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