Critical Thinking Ideas

Critical Thinking Ideas-47
Using a critical inquiry approach also challenges students, in a supportive environment, to pay very close attention to details.In our Solving Equations unit, students were asked to evaluate the usefulness of a variety of equations to solve a Pythagorean Theorem based problem.

Using a critical inquiry approach also challenges students, in a supportive environment, to pay very close attention to details.In our Solving Equations unit, students were asked to evaluate the usefulness of a variety of equations to solve a Pythagorean Theorem based problem.

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This led to more thorough analyses requiring students to think about what they already knew and understood to be mathematically true (accurate math knowledge) about each equation, and all the mathematical details (evidence) given in each equation—two basic considerations that underpin all sound mathematical reasoning.

Implementing critical inquiry in the classroom initially generated a sense of discomfort for teachers in my department, myself included.

There is currently a raging debate in math educational communities that suggests there are only two options for how students can learn math—rote memorization or discovery.

The fortunate reality is that there is a third that combines the benefits of both these options and empowers students with the most essential tool for success in math—the capacity to reason effectively.

In many cases students who are typically hesitant to contribute to class discussions are now able to have a voice amongst their peers as they work through thinking tasks.

This includes students with weaker background knowledge as well as students who are proficient but lack the confidence to participate in regular open class discussions.

Teachers and students experienced some difficulty unpacking these terms as they are not typically used in math classrooms.

Making clear to students what the process of critical thinking involves is difficult if it is not clearly understood.

I am the Head of the Mathematics Department at Markville Secondary School.

In this role, my responsibilities include the facilitation of curriculum implementation, mentoring teachers, as well as the support and implementation of school improvement plans.

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