Critical Thinking

Developing a Writing Framework to Guide Students’ Writing in Geography

"This paper examines the effectiveness of using a Writing Framework to guide students to write geographically for a level descriptor question. The Writing Framework combines aspects of Paul’s EOT (Wheel of Reasoning) with Neighbour’s Core Questions to guide students’ writing. The Writing Framework provides structure in extended writing, but more importantly encourages students to consider the importance of two geographical concepts, ‘Place’ and ‘Space’, in their essay writing. The study involved 18 Secondary 5 Normal (Academic) students. The majority of the students found the Writing Framework useful and showed an improvement in test scores. The results and student feedback highlighted the potential of the Writing Framework to help students in writing geographically."

Old Ideas Made New Again

"I started teaching long ago. The air was full of new ideas about curriculum and teaching methods. In the United States and the United Kingdom we had the “New Social Studies,” “New Math,” exciting hands-on science projects, and the like. It was all about engaging learners in the “methods of the discipline,” in doing inquiry not just memorizing facts. This was a long time ago. Today we are hearing these old “new” ideas again."

Leading Classroom Discussions About Population Policy in Singapore

How to Help All Students with Evidence-based Reading and Writing During an Inquiry Activity

What about Geography? The Geography Curriculum, Young People, Critical Thinking and Active Learning

"This paper is based on a workshop I ran at the Humanities Educators Conference (Singapore, 2012) with the same title. In the workshop, my intention was for the participants to consider ideas of critical thinking and active learning and how this might apply to their own practice. I used examples from geography lessons I had observed in England to illustrate the discussion. Converting a workshop into a paper is not an easy task. One of the benefits of a workshop is the interaction between the participants and the participant led discussion, which is necessarily absent from a paper which reflects a lone voice. Therefore, I have chosen to present some of the content of the session in this paper, and to encourage the reader to consider this content in the light of their own experience. As a geography educator from England, I do not pretend that I have the answers: critical thinking and active learning are challenging for all geography educators, and can differ depending on context. My intention is for individual geography teachers to come to their own understanding of what these terms mean and how they may develop them in their own classrooms."

Exploring the Pedagogical Nature of Historical Texts: Implications for Classroom Teaching

"History, we all know, is the study of the past. As students pursue their history education, they encounter a multitude of textbooks depicting different eras and, in the case of better history classrooms, also a variety of primary and secondary sources from which to gain a more robust understanding of the complexity of the past and the various interpretations given to it. The latter is an important process that moves beyond simply memorizing facts to an endeavor involving, among other things, discerning fact from opinion, corroborating information, contextualizing that information in the period in which it was written, comparing interpretation across multiple sources, and ascertaining the credibility of sources and its utility in exploring a particular topic. Comparing and corroborating sources and ascertaining their credibility not only helps gain a fuller understanding of the past; it also introduces the very idea that history is contested, that it is constructed (made), and that it carries with it particular assumptions and perspectives about the world it attempts to depict."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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