The Thinking Tools course content for all teacher courses

The Thinking Tools course consists of the following Modules which are offered using the Flipped Teaching Method - we practice what we preach

Module 1:

How we think changes the teaching and learning landscape.

Teachers often believe that effective teaching involves analysing the curriculum, using textbooks, and converting themes into lessons to explain to learners. However, this traditional approach frequently results in unexpected disappointments when exam results fall short of expectations. These challenges are further complicated by teachers' innate calling and genuine desire to help students succeed.

Albert Einstein famously reminded us that problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them.

This insight is the starting point for a transformative journey towards exceptional teaching.

Module 2:

How Thinking Tools impact on classroom communication.

You will learn how the Thinking Tools approach Thinking tools foster dynamic and interactive learning by encouraging both teachers and students to engage in deeper, more reflective dialogues. These tools help clarify complex concepts, facilitate better understanding, and promote critical thinking.

The two mail pillars of communication are innerspeech and thinking scaffolds.

Module 3:

How thinking styles guide and enhance group dynamics.

The way learners think and behave in the classroom paves the way for the Thinking Tools teacher to manage and guide group dynamics in the class to optimize learning.

Module 4:

The Critical Thinking Toolkit = the mothership of all thinking.

The "mothership of all thinking" is the foundational framework that underpins all cognitive processes and educational methodologies. This concept emphasizes that the core of effective thinking lies in the ability to engage in metacognition or thinking about one's thinking. By fostering metacognitive awareness, students can better understand their cognitive processes, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for improvement. This self-awareness is crucial for learning as it enables students to plan, monitor, and evaluate their thinking and learning activities, leading to more effective problem-solving and decision-making.

This holistic approach not only enhances individual thinking skills but also promotes a culture of collaborative and reflective learning, ultimately transforming the classroom into a vibrant, communicative space where both teachers and students thrive

Module 5:

The Surface and deep-thinking gears.

In this module you will learn to enable students to distinguish between surface and deep thinking within the context of vision and clarity, emphasizing their distinct roles in the learning process and how it relates to the mothership of all thinking.

Module 6:

Analyze, synthesize and evaluate.

Analysis, synthesis, and evaluate are opposed to being seen as higher order thinking skills, seen as the foundational building blocks to attain deeper knowledge and understanding.

Module 7:

De Bono's hats + 1 additional Thinking Tools hat.

Bono's Six Thinking Hats are clarified within the context of an both depended on the "mothership of all thinking" as well a guiding the "mothership of all thinking" as they allow individuals and groups to systematically explore different perspectives and aspects of a problem including the purple normative ethical thinking hat.

Module 8:

Thinking maps that speak brain language.

Thinking Maps serve as tangible evidence of students' understanding, allowing teachers to assess students’ grasps of concepts and their ability to make connections between ideas. By externalizing and expressing their thought processes, students are making their thinking visible and accessible for both themselves and their educators. This visual representation of learning aids in identifying areas of strength and areas needing improvement, providing a clear roadmap for further development.

Module 9:

The five teaching methods that replace traditional teacher-centered teaching.

The five teaching methods that excludes explain as represent a comprehensive approach to education that promotes both big picture as well as detail level thinking, in unique combination becomes the backbone of critical thinking and continuous improvement.

Module 10:

Bloom’s Taxonomy turned upside down - a 3D perspective.

Bloom's Taxonomy which is traditionally depicted as a hierarchical model starting from lower-order thinking skills (remembering and understanding) and progressing to higher-order thinking skills (analysing, evaluating, and creating. This paves the way to encourage students to explore, question, and construct their own understanding, which naturally leads to established neural pathways that are embedded in the long-term memory.

Module 11:

Clever Learning Activities.

These activities are student-centred, encouraging active participation from individual students as well as collaboration among learners to discover and create insight by identifying available information and repackaging it to create new knowledge and identify patterns.

Module 12:

Hide and seek.

Hide and seek provides Thinking Tools teachers with the ability to read visible and for the inexperienced invisible cues to detect which remedial teaching for specific students. This is to ensure that learners do not fall behind.

Module 13:

Formative assessment with a WOW.

Unlike summative assessments, which evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional period, formative assessments are conducted throughout the learning experience which serve as diagnostic tools, helping teachers identify students' strengths, misconceptions, and areas that need further development.

This continuous feedback loop allows for timely adjustments in teaching strategies and learning activities, ensuring that support provided is responsive to students' needs.

Module 14:

Monitor learners with a formative assessment GPS.

This process is akin to a GPS recalculating a route based on changing conditions or obstacles; teachers use formative assessment data to modify lesson plans, introduce new resources, or adopt different teaching methods. This adaptability ensures that all students have the best possible chance of reaching their educational destinations. In essence, formative assessments act as an internal GPS, helping teachers steer their students through the complexities of learning with precision and care.

Module 15:

The MacGyver Toolkit to keep abreast of your learners’ progress without them knowing how.

McGyver is famous for his knack of seeing solutions where others see none, using his extensive knowledge and resourcefulness to navigate complex situations successfully. Similarly, in a classroom setting, formative assessments empower teachers with detailed, real-time information about students' understanding and progress that may not be immediately obvious. By leveraging this information, teachers can craft tailored instructional strategies, much like McGyver crafting ingenious solutions with limited resources.

Module 16:

A Thinking Tools teaching planner.

Teaching and learning are not a zero-sum linear process with a start, middle and an end. Each phase, such as determining the objectives provides the benchmark for what should be assessed at the end and is subsequently also related to the teaching strategy, diagnoses and remediation within a specific context.

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