Teaching Critical Thinking - Full Video

Uploaded by facdevEIU on 24.05.2011

♪ [music--no dialogue] ♪♪.
(Dr. Jeffrey Cross). Good afternoon everyone.
My name is Jeff Cross, I'm the Associate Vice President
for Academic Affairs.
I bring you greetings from Blair Lord, our Provost,
who were it not for other duties this afternoon,
he would be here in front of you.
We are honored this afternoon to have on our campus
Dr. Saundra McGuire.
For those of you who don't know Dr. McGuire or know about her,
let me tell you just a little bit about her.
She is the Director of the Center for Academic Success and
adjunct professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University
at Baton Rouge.
She received a B.S. degree from Southern University,
a master's degree from Cornell, and her Ph.D. in
chemical education from the University of Tennessee at
Knoxville where she received the Chancellor's Citation
for exceptional professional promise.
Prior to joining LSU in 1999, she spent 11 years at Cornell,
where she served as Director of the Center of Learning and
Teaching, and senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry.
Had received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award.
Dr. McGuire is the recipient of numerous awards.
Her most recent awards include the
2007 diversity award from the Council on Chemical Research,
the 2006 Presidential Award for excellence in science,
mathematics, and engineering mentoring, awarded by
President Bush in an Oval Office ceremony,
and the 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007 Teaching in
Higher Education conference outstanding presentation award.
(Dr. McGuire). There was no award in 2006.
[audience laughter].
(Dr. Cross). I didn't leave that out,
It's not here.
Everything is in context.
She's married to Dr. Stephen McGuire, they have two children.
And without any further ado, Dr. Saundra McGuire.
[audience applause].
It's wonderful to have you on our campus, thank you.
(Dr. McGuire). Thank you very much.
Well good afternoon everybody, okay.
Hello, hello, yeah this is interesting,
this is a little bit different.
This is kind of equivalent to if you thought you were giving a
presentation to specialists in your area, and then you found
out when you got there, that no it's a general population.
So we're going to adjust, because I didn't know that
there were going to be a lot of students this afternoon.
It's great that you guys are here, and the faculty talk
was going to be on teaching students critical thinking.
We are going to get to some of that, but because there are
so many students here, I think I want to repeat some of the
stuff that we talked about this morning that I think
would be very, very beneficial for students.
So I do need to get a little bit better feel for the audience,
because I'm told that many students were
probably leaving at two.
How many people are leaving at two o'clock?
(audience). One forty-five.
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, okay then excuse me.
They said one forty-five, we're not going to be here till two.
[audience laughter].
How many people are leaving at one forty-five?
Ah okay, how many people over here are staying
after one forty-five?
And how many people were here at the morning session?
Okay, alright, and so you may hear a few things repeated
from the morning session, but we will say that repetition
is a little bit good.
And so I think what I'm going to do is since our students do have
to leave very quickly, I'm going to start with the little
exercise, the count the vowels exercise.
And so for those of you who were here this morning,
please don't give it away, but you can see if you can
do better than you did this morning.
And so this afternoon what we're going to be
talking about is developing better thinking skills
in not just students but everybody.
And a lot of developing better thinking skills has
to do with developing better learning skills.
And so I'm going to go back to the other presentation
and I'm going to go to the Bloom's Taxonomy.
Actually I'll start with counting vowels
and this is a little activity.
And students this activity is designed to help you understand
that there may be a difference between what you're doing now
to perform well in classes and what you need to do.
Okay, so does everybody have one of those
little turquoise things?
Okay, so what I'm going to do is give you 40 seconds to count
the vowels on that list of words or short phrases.
And so you can rip it open now, but don't look at the words yet.
Everybody get it ripped open now but don't look at the words.
Just open it up, because sometimes people have
trouble opening it up.
Okay, so everybody's got it open?
Okay, so this is what we are going to do.
The ground rules are, I'm going to give you 40 seconds,
if you finish before the 40 seconds are up,
then just turn your paper face down.
But everybody has to stop when I say time's up, okay?
Okay, so let's start counting the vowels now.
[no dialogue].
(Dr. McGuire). Five seconds.
Okay, so everybody should have your paper turned face down.
And now what I would like for you to do, is write down
the list of all the words that were on the sheet.
Okay, as many as you remember.
All from memory exactly, don't look back at the words yet.
Okay, if you don't know any of them that's fine, but write down
as many as you do remember, if you remember some of them.
And then after you've written down as many as you remember,
then look up at me.
Let's see, one person is still writing.
Okay, it looks like everybody's finished.
Let's see how we did.
There are 15 words on the list and is there anybody who
remembered more than--this time I'll even start at 7--
anybody remember 7 or more?
Okay, raise your hand when I get to the number you did remember.
Okay, we'll start with seven.
Anybody remember more than seven?
Ah, who was not here this morning.
[audience laughter].
Okay, alright well we'll start with eight
if you weren't here this morning.
Anybody remember eight?
Okay, seven?
Okay 6...5...4...3...2...1...zero?
Okay, actually most people here didn't raise your hand.
Let's do that one more time.
Okay now let's start with five and you have to raise your hand
on the number that you did remember.
Any body remember more than five?
No, okay, oh six?
Okay, everybody's less than that.
Okay so I'll start with 7...6...5...4?
Okay, three?
Ah, 2...1...zero?
Okay I think I got most people this time.
Okay, and you're kind of similar to the group this morning,
where the average was about three.
And the situation with this is, now we can
look at the words again.
There are actually three parts to this exercise,
and this is getting into critical thinking and how
we decide on behaviors and actions we're going to do.
You're going to look at the words there, actually there are
three parts to this exercise, but in the interest of time
I'm going to skip over the second part.
The second part would be, I would give you 40 seconds to
memorize the words on the list.
But the third part is, we would point out that there is a way
that the words are written, there is some principle
that the words are written according to.
Does anybody see what that principle is--
okay, actually I'm going to give students first dibs,
and then I'm going to-- any students see what
they are arranged according too?
Okay, they're still thinking, what do you see them
arranged according too?
(female speaker). Numbers--1, 2, 3, 4.
(Dr. McGuire). Absolutely, they are arranged
according to numbers.
Dollar bill for one, dice for two, tricycle for three,
et cetera, et cetera.
Okay now I'm going to give you 40 seconds to memorize
the words on the list and the rules are going to be
different this time.
This time when I say stop, this time you don't have to
write them all down, I just want everybody to close your eyes
and then silently recite to yourself the words
that are on the list okay?
Okay, so you have 40 seconds to memorize the words
and you can start memorizing the words now.
[no dialogue].
Shh, there should be silence while people are memorizing.
[no dialogue].
Five seconds.
Okay, so now everybody just close your eyes, there should be
complete silence while you're reciting the words to yourself.
Count up the number you remember and we'll see how we did.
Open your eyes when you're finished.
[no dialogue].
[Dr. McGuire whispers]. Did you get them all?
[no dialogue].
Okay, let's see I think everybody's got it, yeah.
Okay let's see how we did this time.
The last time our average was around three,
and so we'll see this time I'll start with three.
When I get to the number you did remember raise your hand.
Four...5...6...7...8...9...10 ...11...12...13...14...15?
Wow, okay, we were spread over a little bit more,
but it looked like our average this time was about twelve.
Well the point of this exercise is to say we're not any smarter
people in this room than we were two minutes ago when the average
was about three, and that was about the same average
we got this morning.
And there are 15 words on the list
and 3 out of 15 is what percent?
Twenty, and for my students, 20 percent is what letter grade
in your classes?
Okay F minus, right?
Whereas 12 out of 15 is 80 percent
And so the point is that in two short minutes you could go from
performing at a 20 percent level, to an 80 percent level
using critical thinking skills because there were two,
at least two fundamental things that were different
between the first one and the second one.
Anybody tell me what was one of the things that was different
the second time than the first time?
(female speaker). Focus.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, somebody said focus,
we knew exactly what we were looking at,
and then there was another thing that was different--yes.
(female speaker). There was like a theme.
(Dr. McGuire). Exactly, there was a theme.
We knew how the information was organized
and we also knew how to focus, we knew what the task was.
And so the point is that everybody can improve
their learning ability, their efficiency, if they know
how information is organized and that is part of what
critical thinking is all about.
And so I want to go now to Bloom's Taxonomy,
and again for you guys this morning
this is a little bit of a review, but Bloom's Taxonomy
--how many student's have seen Bloom's Taxonomy?
Oh okay, very few, I just see about three people.
Well Bloom's Taxonomy is just a hierarchy of learning levels.
And if we are talking about critical thinking,
and we are going to define critical thinking in a minute.
Actually let me just take from the audience,
if you had to define in your own words,
what is critical thinking?
What would anybody say?
(female speaker). Analysis.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, somebody said analysis,
Any other word that you could think of that we could use
for critical thinking?
(female speaker). Questioning.
(Dr. McGuire). Questioning, okay, absolutely.
And one other answer.
Anybody else, one other word, okay did I see a hand here?
(female speaker). What you think about
after you memorize.
(Dr. McGuire). She said what you think
about after you memorize, okay and what were you going to say?
(male speaker). Processing information.
(Dr. McGuire). Processing information, okay.
(male speaker). Reflective thinking.
(Dr. McGuire). Reflective thinking, okay.
All of these things go into critical thinking.
Well Bloom's Taxonomy is just a hierarchy of learning levels,
and the very bottom of that is just knowledge
or just memorization.
So if you're at knowledge, you have memorized information.
You could spit back any definition verbatim,
you could give me any formula, you could do,
if you're in science courses, plug and chug problems
where you just stick stuff in.
If you're at comprehension, now you own the information enough
that you can explain it in your own words and you could, as I
said this morning, you could explain any concept to your
8 year-old nephew or your 80 year-old grandmother
in words they understand--you could give them analogies,
you could give them examples.
If you're at application, now you can do problems you've
never seen before, you can answer questions
you've never seen before.
And to my students let me just ask,
have you ever gotten to a test where you studied everything,
you just knew you knew, and you got to the test
and it looked like nothing you've studied was on the test?
(male speaker). Happens all the time.
[audience laughs].
(Dr. McGuire). Happens all the time.
Okay now when that happens, what that typically means is that
you're not at the application level.
And then I'll go up and then I'll ask you guys something
about high school.
In analysis, if you're at that level, you could take any
concept, you could break it down into simpler concepts and if I
asked you, how many people are in chemistry right now?
Anybody taken chemistry?
No, okay a math course this semester?
Okay, so if I were to ask you to,
let's take a trigonometry concept, sine's,
and I might ask you to come up and give a
three-minute mini-lecture on sines.
If you're at analysis you could do that, talk for three minutes
without saying and uh, it's kind of like uh, and I think its,
you would be that conversant.
So you could tell me about the Pythagorean theorem,
you could tell me about right angles, you could tell me
all these different kinds of things if you're at analysis.
If you had synthesis, now you can come up with something new
that has not been designed before, and this happens a lot
of times when you're doing research projects.
If you're at analysis--I'm sorry--if you're at evaluation,
now you can determine whether one theory is better
than another theory, one idea is better than another idea.
And so to give you a little bit better focus
and idea of exactly what these levels represent,
this is just an example of applying Bloom's Taxonomy to
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears".
So if you had knowledge, then all you'd have to do
is list the items that Goldilocks used.
All that takes is memorization, but if you're at comprehension,
you might have to explain why does she like Goldilock's chair
the best, putting it in your own words.
If you're at application, then you might have to describe,
if she came to your house, what would she use?
If you're at analysis, then you might have to think about,
if this is reality, what events couldn't really happen?
If you're at synthesis, then you might have to explain,
well suppose this wasn't "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"
but it's Goldilocks and the hree fish.
How would the story be different?
You might have to write your own story at that level.
And if it were evaluation, then you'd have to judge whether
Goldilocks was a good or bad person.
And so I'm just going to throw out to the audience as we did
this morning, how many of you would say that
Goldilocks was a good person?
Okay, alright, how many of you would say that
Goldilocks was a bad person?
Okay, how many of you would say that Goldilocks
was neither good nor bad?
Okay, and so that would be the other option.
So now for my students out there, let me just ask
when you were in high school, what was the highest level that
you generally had to operate in order to make A's and B's
in your classes?
And this is important for us as faculty to recognize because
we're talking about critical thinking and as we've said,
student's critical thinking is really operating at those higher
levels, and so if we understand where students have been
operating before they come to us, then it's very insightful.
So for my students out there, just by a show of hands let me
know the highest level that you typically had to operate at in
high school to make the grades that you made in high school?
How many of you would say it's knowledge?
Okay, how many of you would say it's comprehension?
Okay, application?
Okay, analysis?
Okay, synthesis and evaluation?
And again, for the benefit of my faculty I'm going to ask,
students typically when you're in high school,
what did your teachers do the day before the test?
(audience). Review.
(Dr. McGuire). Review--I always get that
in unison, review, okay.
And what did they do during the review?
(female speaker). They gave answers.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, exactly.
We were talking about that this morning
and a lot of times, I know I was surprised to hear this
as a faculty member.
I expected when I asked this question, now I've
asked this question to student audiences all over the country
and it's consistent.
The question, what did they do the day before the test?
Review, I expected that, that's why students, you guys
love getting review sheets from faculty and they're going yeah.
Okay, and then when I ask, what do they do during the review?
I was shocked when my students told me, they gave us
the answers to what was going to be on the test.
Yeah and somebody said they do.
And so what happens is we have all these brilliant students who
come to the university, but they are so used to having review,
getting the test questions the day before the test,
that they think the same thing is going to continue.
Now back to my students, you guys are very, very bright.
Now if you had not gone to class a single day, before the day
before the test and you went that day and you paid really
close attention to what happened that day, what was the lowest
grade you would likely get on the test the next day?
(audience response). C.
(Dr. McGuire). That's what they all say, C.
Okay, now at the university level,
what grade are many students striving to get?
They say I just want to get a...
(audience). C!
(Dr. McGuire). Exactly, and so faculty,
this is the first time I've ever done this
and I almost feel like Oprah or something I don't know.
Just give me a mic and I can run around, and so that's why
a lot of our students are not doing what they could do.
They're very bright students, let me ask my students,
how many of you--just by a show of hands--
how many would say you studied a lot in high school?
Okay, a few and most people didn't
and why didn't you study a lot?
(female speaker). We really didn't have to.
(Dr. McGuire). Didn't have to, exactly.
And so when they get to the university they are thinking
same thing, they're just great scientists.
Using the data points they have, that suggest that
I don't really need to pay a lot of attention to this
until the day before the test.
I will study the stuff the day before the test,
and I will end up making at least a C,
which is what a lot of students are striving for.
And so, what we are talking about is things students can do,
and that faculty can do in order to improve student learning.
Because there's another question that I wanted to ask students,
and this is going to be kind of a yes or no question.
Well not really.
If you think about your current GPA,
how many people are first-year students?
Ah, okay, so this is just your first semester.
Ah got you, did everybody get mid-term grades?
Very good, okay, alright.
So how many people would say that when you look at your
average for mid-term, if your GPA had to reflect either your
academic ability or the effort that you put in your studies?
Okay, how many of you would say that your GPA from mid-term
reflects your intellectual ability?
Okay, how many of you would say it reflects the work that
you put into your studies?
Okay, consistent.
Faculty, all over the country this is what students say.
The reason that students are not putting a lot of effort into
their studies is because, they didn't think they needed to.
And they didn't think they needed to because they never
had to in high school and they had great grades in high school.
And so basically what we're talking about then is,
how do you transition from high school to the university.
And for faculty, what kinds of things can we do in order
to improve student learning.
And so, now I'm going to go back to the critical thinking
presentation which is what this was going to be about.
I know I have only fifteen more minutes with my students right?
(female speaker). It's a lot of us too.
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, okay, thank you.
(female speaker). We're here for this.
(Dr. McGuire). Got you, how many groups
over here are leaving at 1:45 p.m.?
Okay, so a lot of you guys are still staying, got you.
Okay, so I want to go now to critical thinking and that is...
We have really got to focus on critical thinking skills,
and we heard what critical thinking skills were all about,
because it is really crucial to student learning.
Now back in Bloom's Taxonomy, we saw that a lot of students
were focused on memorization in high school.
And so the key is now you've got to get yourself from
that lowest level up to analysis and later on,
it's even going to be synthesis and evaluation.
And you're still the great student you were in high school,
it's just that you need to do some things a differently.
And so the outcomes that I have for the whole workshop this
afternoon for faculty is that we really will have a much
better understanding of what critical thinking is.
But not only that is that we'll have concrete strategies that
will increase our students critical thinking skills; and
for students your own critical thinking skills.
And we'll know the kinds of things that motivate students
to think critically, and if I get to do some of that while
the students are still here, you can either say yeah that
would motivate me, or no it wouldn't motivate me.
And then we'll use those critical thinking skills to do a
little activity that is going to address a problem that
we are trying to address here.
Okay, and so the reflection question that I had--and we
already said what was critical thinking--and so why is that
important in the courses that you are teaching,
and this is for faculty.
So I won't make you answer that right now,
just want to think about it, because I want to get
through as much before the students leave.
Okay, but then why is that important?
And then why is that important?
And, so I want us as faculty to think about why critical
thinking is important to what we're doing.
Now a working definition of critical thinking, and this
comes from the work of Michael Scriven and Richard Paul.
Critical thinking requires a lot of intellectual discipline,
it requires discipline.
It's the intellectually disciplined process of actively
and skillfully conceptualizing.
And so we got to think of the concepts, the basic concepts in
our courses that students need to see how they fit together
in order to be able to think critically.
Applying, analyzing, synthesizing--those were some
words we had earlier--and or evaluating information gathered
from or generated by observation, experience,
reflection, reasoning, or communication as a guide
to belief and action.
So basically we are taking information and we are
interpreting that information, putting it in our own words,
making it our own, but then seeing how that applies to our
lives and how it guides our belief and action.
Now there's one other perspective that I wanted
to share, this is from Nord.
"Critical thinking is not just a matter of applying logical
rules (much less just applying the scientific method) but it's
a matter of thinking and feeling empathetically with others of
engaging one's imagination, of having access to a wealth
of facts about the possible effects of alternative actions,
of discerning patterns of meaning and experience,
and looking at the world from different perspectives."
And so, to break all that stuff down in layman's terms for the
students, basically it means we are just looking at, how can I
look at things from a number of different perspectives."
And somebody mentioned earlier with critical thinking,
they said questioning was very important,
and questioning is extremely important.
And so what that means is that when we are looking at topics or
looking at ideas, when there are questions that come to mind, we
have to recognize that those questions are valid questions
but we also have to address those questions.
And so, if I just go back to the counting vowels exercise,
was there a question that came to anybody's mind before you
started counting the vowels that you didn't ask?
Okay, yes.
(female speaker). Are we supposed to include Y?
(Dr. McGuire). Very good, she said
are we supposed to include Y.
How many people thought of that question?
Okay, and the people over here did too.
Well, one of the really important things about
critical thinking is those questions will come to mind
and you're really thinking about what questions
do I have that have not been answered.
But it's extremely important to get those questions out there,
because you saw that there were a number of other people
who had the same question.
And this is going to happen in classes too.
And for faculty, what we always suggest is, you know if we stop
and ask does any body have any questions,
typically what happens when we ask that faculty?
Nothing, there's silence, okay
and our students are going to tell us why that is.
Because when we as faculty ask that question,
you have questions but you don't ask the question, right?
Will somebody share with us why it is you don't ask the question
that you have when faculty say are there any questions.
(female speaker). We want to leave class early.
[audience laughs].
(Dr. McGuire). Interesting, now that was
not the answer that I was expecting.
Okay, does anybody, okay yes.
(female speaker). You don't want to be
embarrassed if it's a stupid question or anything like that.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, yes, and what were
you going to say, young lady in the back?
(Dr. McGuire). Same thing, okay, yeah.
That was the answer that I was expecting.
That I don't want to look stupid, I don't want to ask
a question that might be a stupid question.
And so for faculty, because questioning is such a very,
very important part of critical thinking, one of the ways--
and I'll ask students if you would feel better.
If we said do you have any questions and you get to share
with the person next to you what your question might be,
if you got a chance to talk with the person before you asked
your question, would that make you feel
more comfortable to ask a question?
Okay, and they're saying yeah.
And so one of the things that we can do to get our students
to participate and get those questions on the table,
is make it comfortable for them.
And basically what they're doing is, they are venting
their question, because if they ask this other person
and the other person thinks that's a reasonable question,
then you know that there's at least on other person in
the room who does not think that your question is stupid.
And you feel much more confident to get that question out on the
table, so that's very important.
Okay, so we see what critical thinking is and where we are
trying to go with this, and so let's do a little bit of
critical thinking, this is probably the last thing our
students will get a chance to do.
But this thing is called the noun game, and what
I would like for you to do is just think of a noun, any noun.
It can be a proper noun or a common noun,
any person, place, or thing.
Okay, so just any noun and right that noun down, please.
Okay, and then what I'm going to do is--
so everybody's got your noun written down, okay.
I'm going to take one student and one faculty member
to get a noun and I'm going to select,
yes, our, yes Brother Rice.
(female speaker). I wrote umbrella.
(Dr. McGuire). Umbrella, okay.
Okay, now that's a cognitive science thing.
Why were you thinking umbrella?
Because it's raining, exactly and somebody else said umbrella.
Okay, so I'm going to pick from our faculty side.
I'm going to pick the young lady right here with glasses on.
Yes, oh, no behind you, right behind you.
Okay, what was your noun?
(female speaker). House.
(Dr. McGuire). House, okay.
So we have umbrella and we have house.
Now what I would like for you to do is to think of at least eight
different things that umbrella and house have in common, okay?
(female speaker). Do we have to say the word?
(Dr. McGuire). No, don't say it out loud.
Just think how many things do umbrella and house--
and we're going for things that are surprising.
I mean, you can put everything down,
but very uncommon similarities.
[no dialogue].
Okay, let's take about 15 more seconds, and however many
you have is going to be fine.
[no dialogue].
Okay, let's see what we came up with.
So would someone share with us, what was one thing you said
they had in common?
(female speaker). They could both come
in different shapes and sizes.
(Dr. McGuire). Very good, okay.
They can both come in different shapes and sizes, okay.
And I'll just go back and forth, okay, one person over here.
(female speaker). They might leak.
(Dr. McGuire). Say that again?
(female speaker). They might leak.
(Dr. McGuire). Very good, she said they both
can leak, they might leak.
Okay, and then over here, we'll go here and then back there.
(female speaker). They're both a form
of protection and shelter.
(Dr. McGuire). Very good, they're both a form
of protection and shelter, okay.
And then over here, okay, yes.
(female speaker). They both have supports.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, they both have supports.
Okay, and then back here in the corner.
(female speaker). They both are nouns
that end with vowels.
(Dr. McGuire). Wait, we said--oh, yeah, great.
Okay, slow on the uptake here, but absolutely.
Yeah, she said they're both nouns that end with vowels.
Okay, house and umbrella.
Yes, okay, over here.
(male speaker). They both can tear up
with strong wind.
(Dr. McGuire). Ah, they can both tear up
with strong wind, okay.
Here, and then I'll come to--yes.
(female speaker). They can both be decorative.
(Dr. McGuire). They can both be decorative.
Okay, here, and yes.
(female speaker). They can be shared.
(Dr. McGuire). They can be shared.
Okay, they can be shared.
Okay, now we got a competition going on.
[audience laughter].
We'll see who can last the longest, okay, here.
(male speaker). They both can be bought.
(Dr. McGuire). They can both be bought.
Okay, now we're just going to do three more.
Okay, here, yes.
(female speaker). They both had songs
written about them.
(Dr. McGuire). They both have had songs
written about them, okay.
(male speaker). I don't own either.
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, he doesn't own either.
Okay, alright, okay, one more over here, yes.
(female speaker). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Wait, shhh.
(female speaker). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Policies?
(female speaker). An umbrella policy or
a house policy.
(Dr. McGuire). Ah, you can have, okay,
related to insurance, an umbrella policy,
a house policy.
Okay, then there was one other student I think I saw over here.
Yeah, okay, yes.
(female speaker). They can be the same color.
(Dr. McGuire). They can be the same color.
Now the purpose of this game--and I actually heard
some students earlier say, oh I give up, oh I'm stuck.
This is an activity that was done actually
by a math professor.
And the point is to help people understand that even when you
have something that you think doesn't have a real answer,
that you can't think of the answer to, if you just think
long enough you can invoke those critical thinking skills.
And so, he does this every class to help students recognize that
they can dig deeper and think of these analogies.
Okay, so now if we look at some of the prerequisites
for critical thinking, and going back to what the students said
earlier, that sometimes its hard to ask questions in class,
because you're not sure if your question
is a reasonable question or not.
The same thing is true of the kinds of questions that we ask
when we want students to think critically and engage
in discussions in class, because a lot of times
students will have ideas about things that they
want to say, but they really don't know if it's reasonable.
And so one of the prerequisites, well a series of prerequisites
for critical thinking is--and this is for our students, too--
but you have to have a very solid grasp of information.
So substantial knowledge of facts, concepts and ideas.
And we talked in the morning session about how to facilitate
conceptual understanding of students, and then having
students to engage in activities where they discuss those things
and make sure that they understand concepts.
You have to believe in your ability to think critically.
And so often when students get to the university level,
and correct me if I'm wrong, you've had opportunities or
things where you have given your opinion, and somebody says,
well no that doesn't make any sense.
Has that ever happened?
Okay, and when that happens, when they come to this
environment, then they are very reticent to put forth ideas
because they've already been told that when you come up with
ideas, it probably is not going to make a lot of sense.
So you've got to believe in your ability to think critically.
There's got to be a safe environment
in which to think critically.
So in other words, students have to know
that whatever their idea is, it's not going to be shot down.
And so it's really important for us to, kind of like what we did
with the little noun game, any answer that is produced,
there's some way that makes that answer somehow right.
And we might not be--I'll give you an example.
If I were to ask, what's the sum of two plus two, okay?
Everybody knows that's four, okay,
but if I had a student who said five.
Can anybody think of how two plus two might be equal to five?
(female speaker). Babies.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, somebody said babies.
What do you mean babies?
(female speaker). Well, I think you put two people
together and they have two kids, and they might have one more.
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, okay, so two plus two
babies are five and then a student said something.
What did you say over here?
(female speaker). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Hmmm?
(female speaker). You add on one.
(Dr. McGuire). If you add on one, okay,
or synergy--sometimes we say that the whole is much
bigger than just the combination of parts.
And so if somebody says five, then I say well yeah, you might
be thinking about synergy, but in this particular case that's
not what we're thinking about, but five is a reasonable answer.
Can anybody think of how two plus two might equal three?
Okay, as a chemist, I know that two plus two might equal three
because if I put two milliliters of one liquid together
with two milliliters of another, but when those two things
have stronger intermolecular attractive forces between them
than the two individually, then I can put two and two
and end up with three milliliters.
And so every answer that a student is willing to
come up with, there's got to be a way for us to figure out how
somehow that might make sense.
And then if we do that kind of thing, then students are going
to be much more willing to take the chance to think critically
and to offer some comments that would reflect critical thinking.
Okay, and then rewards for thinking critically.
How many of our students, how many of you, the tests that
you've had so far, relied mostly on memorizing information?
Okay, so this is most of our students.
And so, but we have to-- and there--
you guys are getting ready to head out, right?
Okay, well it was a pleasure meeting you.
So, how many people are going to stay over here?
I think we still have a critical mass, yeah, okay, alright.
Okay, so remember, think of Bloom's Taxonomy, and think
about moving yourself up to higher levels, okay?
Alright, very good.
Okay, and so then, now we talked about some of the
prerequisites for critical thinking.
Are there others, can anybody think of any other prerequisites
that we haven't put up there?
They're just getting a few cookies.
Talk a little more about that.
(male speaker). I guess maybe why should
they want to think critically about their own writing?
Why should they want to think critically about
an essay or a novel?
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, excellent point.
One of the prerequisites is understanding why thinking
critically is important to this particular discipline.
Anybody think of any--yes?
(male speaker). Thoughtful props, like
the two plus two equals what exercise,
it invites critical thinking, but some questions just don't.
They only have one answer, so you can't think critically
about them unless you inform them, like hey,
tell me how two plus two equals three.
(Dr. McGuire). Very good point, yeah.
Those open-ended questions that invite critical thinking,
as opposed to the closed-end questions where there's a right
answer or wrong answer, and students get beat up about that.
Okay, so moving right along.
Okay, now there were, and this was, could you all tell what a
challenge that was for me?
[audience laughter].
I did, oh thank you.
And I'm thinking, oh wow, and they're first semester students
too, so, but they were great, they were great.
Okay, there are three kinds of instructor-influenced
classroom interactions that pretty consistently
and positively relate to having students experience gains in
critical thinking.
Actually it was perfect that they left then because this
would have been a little bit harder to have with them, right?
One is the extent to which we as faculty really
encourage critical thinking, praise critical thinking,
or use student ideas.
And that's a big thing and so many classes,
especially in the sciences I've seen where we go in
and we're the sage on the stage as opposed to the
guide on the side, and we give students the impression
that I am the repositor of knowledge and you are here
to get it from me and there's really nothing that you can
contribute to my learning, I'm here to give everything to you.
Now I know that this is not true of anybody in this room, because
I'm preaching to the choir.
You guys are the folks who don't believe this, but
you've probably seen colleagues who sort of have that opinion,
and students really react very negatively to that.
The amount and cognitive level of student participation
in class.
And so often we will ask questions and students won't
say anything, but we hear why they won't.
Now, I was a little surprised that there were so many students
who said that their test relied only on memorization.
Did that surprise you guys?
Okay, now if I applied critical thinking to that though,
I'm going to suggest that that may not necessarily be true.
That what students perceive as just memorization, requiring
memorization, the faculty members have in mind that it
is a higher level process, but because students really
have focused on memorizing information the night before,
what they see as memorization, we're seeing at a higher level.
And I'm reminded of that because in this NSSE, the survey of
student engagement, do you guys participate in that?
Okay, well at LSU we do, and they gave the results,
and one of the results our students said, that faculty
really don't require them to do a lot of work in class.
And I don't think that that's true, but I think when we give
assignments that ask students to analyze something, they're just
really seeing it as explain, which just means describe,
which just means you take what you've read and
kind of paraphrase that or put it in your own words.
I think there's this mismatch between what we as faculty want
students to do at the critical thinking level, and what they're
doing, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Because if they've never seen a duck, they will have no idea
what a duck looks like and so we are showing them ducks,
they don't know what they look like,
all they've ever seen are chickens.
So they think that this is just a funny looking chicken because
they don't know anything about ducks and so what we've got to
do is really not only give them a higher level of
cognitive engagement, but have that dialogue with them,
that discussion we talked about this morning on the importance
of sharing Bloom's taxonomy with students.
Because many times I've had students say, well this course,
the professor said this course is about understanding, so I
don't have to memorize anything, we're not focusing on
memorization, we are focusing on understanding.
And so they conclude that I don't have to memorize anything.
No, that doesn't mean that at all.
It means that there are certain facts, certain things you have
to know, and that's prerequisite to understanding and analyzing,
so it's not an either or type thing, but if we don't have that
conversation with students it's very, very difficult for
students to understand what the relationship is.
And doing those things, those kinds of activities, that will
require them to engage with each other and with the class
in critical thinking, really has a lot to do with it too.
Oh, and that's the third one, the amount of interaction
among the students in a course.
And when students see that it's a team effort, they can work
together to come up with ideas with questions even that are
important to critical thinking, that makes a big difference.
And a very, very important key to learning--and we talked about
this a little bit this morning --is that we learn much better
when we start with a big picture and we fit individual details
into the big picture as opposed to starting
with individual details, and this idea that learning has
got to be repetitious.
It's continuous, it's a repetitive process, and I think
many times as faculty, because we understand the things
so well, we think that something as simple as a definition that
once students hear that they should understand it.
And I think we don't take the time to help students put it in
their own terms, to practice explaining it to other people so
that it really becomes a part of them and not something,
just words that they are able to spout.
And one of the things that I can show you,
and this is on my computer--okay let me get it.
It's the impact, the negative impact of student misconceptions
in being able to think critically, ah, thank you.
And actually I don't even need this because I know them.
Well, okay you can open the [unclear dialogue].
Student misconceptions: in order to think critically, students do
have to be knowledgeable about certain areas, and many times
in our discipline students come with misconceptions that
really mitigate against their ability to think critically.
And I'm going to give you a couple examples from my
experience and ask for--oh, okay it's over here, no problem, yes,
okay thanks--from my experience and ask you to share with me
a couple of very surprising misconceptions.
One had to do with the difference--I had a student
in general chemistry who came and he said,
Dr. McGuire, I'm having a lot of trouble distinguishing between
liquids and gases.
Now, this is a university student, so I was very surprised
when I heard that.
At Cornell, I was in explain mode, so I would explain
what the definitions were.
But at LSU I'm much more listen mode
and I said, why are you having difficulty with that?
And so he said well aren't all gases liquids?
And again I was baffled by that, I'm thinking,
well is he thinking that they're both fluids,
they both have molecules that are not in fixed positions,
and that wasn't it either.
Does anybody have any idea why he thought that maybe
all gases were liquids?
Exactly, I asked, well why do you think that?
And he said, every brand of gas that I pump is a liquid.
Okay, alright, and so can you imagine if we're talking about
the kinetic molecular theory of gases, if I want him to apply
any critical thinking to the higher level problems,
but his mental model of gases is gasoline,
there's no way that he can get past that.
And another example, and this was shared with me by
a faculty member in Georgia.
He was teaching about volume, calculating the volume of a
cube, and so he said, you know he had his little model
and he talked about the length times the width times
the volume, and there was this one young lady
who looked really, really puzzled.
And at the end of class she came up and he said
well, why are you so puzzled?
And she picked up the model and she said,
you keep talking about--he said she was very, very angry--
she said you keep talking about the volume of this thing,
I don't hear a sound coming out of this.
[audience laughter].
Okay, and so sometimes the problem with
our getting students to think at higher levels critically,
is because the stuff that is so second nature to us that
we know what it is, we assume that students know it
and they really don't.
So now I want to throw it out to you guys,
can somebody give me, ah, okay we have one here, yes.
(male speaker). I guess I was just giving the
talk to one of my nephews, and...
(Dr. McGuire). The talk?
The sex talk?
(male speaker). Yeah.
[audience laughter].
(Dr. McGuire). So we've got a misconception
already, I'm thinking meta-cognition talk.
(male speaker). I asked him what he already
knew about like sex and condoms and everything,
and he was like oh I know that a condom keeps you
from getting STD's, so I was like yeah, yeah,
but do you know what it is and he's like well is it a shot?
Because it stops diseases, he thought it was a medicine.
(Dr. McGuire). Right, right, okay yeah
and that reminds me of once my office manager said--
this was at another university--but she told me
that her computer had a virus, and she wanted to know
should she not type on it because it had a virus.
Okay, one more, let's just get one more.
Name one more, okay, yes.
(male speaker). I have a sister who lives in
Chicago with her husband and they're both brilliant people,
but they have almost no street smarts.
And they have been living up there for about six months and
they came up to one of the toll booths, and they both came to
the astounding realization, at the same time, that manual lanes
were not automatically reserved for those who drive stick shift.
All this time they've been going to the automatic lanes,
simply because they...
(Dr. McGuire). I see, okay, yeah.
And you know that sounds a little bit strange, interesting,
but a lot of these very simple kinds of things really do
prevent students from thinking at higher levels.
And we talked this morning about one of the ways,
the study cycle, where we can help students actually
really master what we're doing in lecture.
So many of our students come to lecture and they sit through,
and it's almost like they're taking dictation.
The stuff goes from our mouths or the powerpoint onto the paper
without going through here.
And we talked about the importance of helping students
preview what is going to be in the lecture.
They can read the italicized words, the charts and graphs
in the textbook, and have them bring questions to the lecture
that they want to have answered.
Then when they participate in the lecture when we
ask those questions and allow them time to vent their answers
with each other, then they will participate more
and then review afterwards.
And I want to do a little activity that shows the
importance of how you can experience something very
differently if you've done some previewing, if you have the
introductory information, so you've got this big picture.
So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to read a passage and I'm
going to ask you three questions after I've read the passage.
And I can tell you the first question is just going to be,
what is this passage about. what is it talking about.
Because there's a specific task that it's discussing.
Okay, the procedure is actually quite simple.
First you arrange things into different groups, of course one
pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do.
If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities
that's the next step, otherwise you're pretty well set.
It is important not to overdue things, that is it is better
to do to few things at once, than too many.
In the short run this may not seem important,
but complications can easily arise.
A mistake can be expensive as well.
At first the whole procedure will seem complicated,
soon however it will become just another facet of life.
It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity of this
task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell.
After the procedure is completed, one arranges
the materials into different groups again.
Then they can be put into their appropriate places.
Okay, and don't yell out what the task is but
if you think you know what the task is, write it down please.
Okay, just write down what you think it's talking about.
Okay, then the second question is, one sentence says if you
have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities,
that's the next step, so the question is,
where could you go if you lack the facilities?
Where could you go if you lack the facilities?
Okay, and the third question, one sentence says,
a mistake can be expensive as well.
And the question is how can a mistake be expensive?
Okay and so now what I want you to do is
take 30 seconds to just discuss with your neighbor.
See what you came up with the task being, and I'm going to be
back in 30 seconds and we'll see where we are.
Okay, alright, let's see what we came up with.
Now again, don't yell it out, but how many people think they
know what the task is, just raise your hand.
Oh, very few.
Okay, now in unison just yell out what you think it is.
(audience). Laundry.
(Dr. McGuire). How many people have ever
seen this exercise before?
Aw, I should have said if you've seen it before you can't say it.
Okay, it is doing laundry, the task is doing laundry.
Okay, now did anybody who didn't get that the task was doing
laundry answer the other two questions right?
Absolutely not, did you?
Okay, but now without even hearing the passage again,
if I ask you where could you go if you lack the facilities,
what would you tell me?
(audience). Laundromat.
(Dr. McGuire). Laundromat, okay.
How can a mistake be expensive?
You ruin your clothes, exactly.
Okay, now and this is kind of like the counting vowels thing.
The only difference, if we had done previewing of this task,
we would have seen that it was about doing laundry
and everything would have made a lot more sense
and we could build off that.
Now I'm going to read it one more time,
and I want you to just listen and tell me does it even
sound different this time that I read it.
The procedure is actually quite simple.
First you arrange things into different groups, of course one
pile maybe sufficient depending on how much there is to do.
If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities,
that's the next step, otherwise you're pretty well set.
It is important not to over do things, that is it is better
to do to few things at once than too many.
In the short run this may not seem important,
but complications can easily arise.
A mistake can be expensive as well.
Oh, this thing just went off, okay.
In the short run there--okay, let's see it's coming back up.
Okay here we go--in the short run this may
not seem important, but complications can easily arise.
A mistake can be expensive as well.
At first the whole procedure will seem complicated,
soon however it will become just another facet of life.
It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this
task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell.
After the procedure is completed, one arranges
the materials into different groups again,
then they can be put into their appropriate places.
Okay, did it sound different that time?
Absolutely, and why did it sound different?
(audience). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Exactly, because you knew
what it was about, you could actually even envision that.
And so part of what we're looking at with critical
thinking is, how do we set the stage for students to really get
more out of what we're doing, so that they can see where those
relationships are and what the important points are.
Okay, and we did counting vowels already, and so there are some
keys to developing critical thinking skills, and with the
notion that we're always trying to move up higher
on Bloom's Taxonomy.
And that is there is that hierarchy of learning levels,
and it takes time and effort to climb this ladder.
Okay, we did Bloom's already, okay and so,
now the next activity actually is just a faculty activity,
so I'm going to excuse our students now and thank you
very, very much for coming, but the next activity
we need to do this as a faculty group.
So is that okay?
Okay, very good.
Okay so students, thank you guys very much for coming.
Use those critical thinking...okay, thank you.
Okay, and so I am going to use the construction paper
that Kristina developed.
Yeah, because we have about 45 minutes left,
and yeah this is very interesting because if I
were going to do a mixed group critical thinking is probably
not the topic I would have picked to do a mixed group
because the baseline knowledge that we as faculty have, is just
very different from students and it's hard to do this with
first-year students and faculty,
but what I wanted to do is an exercise going over,
it's actually Edward de Bono's,
the critical thinking hat, "The Six Thinking Hats".
Has anybody ever heard of that or done that activity?
(male speaker). No, I've just heard of De Bono.
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, you've heard of De Bono.
Well it's a very good activity that we can
do with students and classes, and it helps them to understand
that there are different types of thinking.
Because part of critical thinking is to understand when
you're making assumptions, when you are basing your thoughts
and ideas on emotions as opposed to facts, when you
are looking just at the positive and not looking at what some
of the other perspectives are, going back to that second
definition about really looking at different perspectives.
And so, what De Bono did--so I'm going to talk about what
the thinking hats are, and then I'm going to just divide us into
groups with different colored hats to attack a problem,
and that problem is how can we increase the critical thinking
ability of students at EIU.
And as much as I was trying to critically think how I could do
that with faculty and students, I was drawing a blank.
But, the first, okay he has--oh, yes thank you.
There are different colored hats, and when I do this
in class I actually bought some little caps,
but we're just going to use construction paper here, and
we're going to arrange ourselves into groups in a little bit.
But the white cap is just the information cap, so if you have
a problem that we're looking at how to address it, that
particular cap is worn by the person who's thinking about,
what information do I need to have?
And one of the things I think when we are teaching students
about critical thinking and problem solving, have you
noticed that so often just the what do I have given,
students don't seem to know where to start.
And so they don't know how to address, what information do
I need to answer this question to solve this problem,
and where am I?
So the white cap is just what information is available
and what information is needed.
The red cap represents the kind of thinking that it is not based
on fact or knowledge, it's just based on intuition.
What do I feel about this particular situation
or this problem?
And then the gray cap is the one that's very cautious,
and it says well you know, it may appear that this is
going to work well, but have you thought about
this particular aspect of it?
So it's the one that really has us go into cautious mode
and critical thinking.
And then the yellow cap is the cap that is worn,
sometimes you know it's this sunny, sunshine--what
are all the positives of this particular way of thinking,
or this particular way of doing stuff?
And then the green cap is the one that really looks at
alternatives and possibilities. so sometimes people
think of that as the creative hat, okay?
We have looked at trying to increase the, I'll go to LSU.
We've looked at trying to increase the graduation rates
by increasing the requirements for incoming students.
We've upped the SAT, ACT, and we've seen some progress
in that, but are there other ways we can do it?
And one of the things that we found, and I noticed, you know
I looked you guys up on the web and I noticed that your students
have fairly high ACT and SAT scores.
And they have, they have good high school GPAs, 3.5 and above.
But what we're finding at LSU, and we were told this by the
retention specialist, that when you start to get better prepared
students, they really expect more in the way of academic
support, and they are typically a little more demanding in
tell me what you want.
Have you all found that at all?
Yeah, and the reason for that is that most of those students,
many I should say, many of those students have very high GPAs,
they're great on standardized tests, because they have
had tutors for many, many, many years.
Our younger daughter, who's an Opera singer in New York,
the youngest student that she tutored up there was,
guess how old, just yell out a number.
Lower than, younger than six.
Younger than three.
[audience reaction].
Two, two years old.
And she was hired to work with a two-year-old because they
hadn't taken their normal trip to France over the summer,
and he was going to start an emersion pre-school,
French emersion, French language.
So she was hired to tutor him in French, just talk French to him
so that by the time he started school, he would be prepared.
I'm hearing friends who have students in elementary school
saying that, you know, now that the curricula are online for
these, one friend, a colleague at LSU said that one little boy,
the teacher noticed he was getting everything right on all
the tests, but he didn't seem to understand a lot about it.
And so she talked with him, and it turned out his mom
was downloading everything in the curriculum,
and even the tests that were given.
And so, so sometimes our students, and again, it's
not that they are not capable because they are very capable.
It's just that the behaviors that we're expecting,
are orthagonal to the behaviors that they have had to exhibit
to get the high ACT scores and things that they're getting.
And so, if we're looking at alternative ways to get them to
think creatively and recognize that just because we're getting
better students, that doesn't mean that automatically
there's going to be more critical thinking.
And in some cases, it's the opposite because they're the
ones who are coming and wanting to, just tell me what to do
so I can make an A, and I will do that and make an A
and that's not what we're about.
And then the blue cap is the metacognitive,
the managing your thinking, sort of the metacognitive cap,
thinking about your own thinking.
And it really is the overview.
So it pretty much decides, well, do we need,
is this discussion going negative?
Do we need more optimistic discussion here?
Are there more facts that we need to get us out of a rut?
And so, if we, in the next slides it's just a little bit
more detail about each of the hats.
But what information do we have available,
what would we like to have, what do we need,
how are we going to get the missing information?
And the caution with the white hat is that
you can really get stuck there, yes.
What the, oh yeah, yeah, in fact, they brought them.
I've got them, yeah, and so, I have enough.
(female speaker). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, well I've got them.
I was just going to pass them out.
I think I'm all set, yes, okay, yeah, we're great.
(female speaker). [unclear audio].
(Dr. McGuire). Oh, yeah, absolutely.
(male speaker). So you would take this parallel
if you had problem X, you would in order to really look at it
more comprehensively, you would go through these six different
hats asking these different questions and they're all
parallel, but a different with each one and essentially
you would have a lot more information than you did.
(Dr. McGuire). Absolutely, and so,
the way you would use this in class is,
and I've seen it used in science classes.
Let's say we're talking about global warming.
How are we going to address global warming?
Then the white hat folks would be looking at,
well what information do we need?
Well we need facts about exactly what global warming is,
what is causing global warming, what have been the trends.
And so, what you do is you can divide up the students in groups
and there will be a group for each of the different colored
hats and their responsibility is to address the task
for that particular hat.
And what it does is exactly what you said it does,
it really helps students to understand that thinking has
so many different components.
And what happens is, many times, students are,
they're in some of these hats anyway,
but they, yeah in the emotional hat.
I've had students come to my office just so,
one young man came, he was livid that a teacher had given
him zero on an assignment that he was supposed to
write a reflective paper.
Well he didn't spend any time really reflecting on it,
he just kind of copied what was in the thing.
But his, his thing was, well she gave me zero.
That means that I didn't put any effort into this,
and I did put effort into this.
It took me a half an hour to do what I did.
Now, I could see if she gave me 10 or 20, but zero?
I didn't deserve zero, and so his emotions
had just totally taken over.
And so what this does is help students recognize that there
are different components to your thinking,
and part of critical thinking is being able to analyze
when I'm over in emotional mode,
as opposed to rational mode.
When I'm seeing nothing but the negative.
When I have students come in saying,
okay well I flunked the first test, I'll never, ever, ever
get to go to medical school, you know?
And then they spiral down, and that's very disadvantageous.
And so, what this does is helps them see that bigger picture of
what critical thinking is all about.
(male speaker). [unclear audio].
You'll be in an emotional stage and there is nothing
going right for you.
(Dr. McGuire). Exactly, and I actually found
that I was using it-- I learned about this,
I had a workshop about three years ago.
And, and so we have staff meetings now where,
if we are looking at an issue, we will assign certain people
to have the different thinking hats.
And, and I started to catch myself because
I was always in gray hat mode.
You know, somebody would say something and I'd say, oh but
you know the problem with that might be, and then, stop it.
You know, put on the yellow hat sometimes.
And you can really get out of a rut and move units forward
if you're recognizing that.
And then have you noticed that there are some people, and I'm
typically not a gray hat person, I'm more a yellow hat person.
But there's some people who they only have one hat.
Have you noticed that?
And it is gray, you know?
And then there are other people who have nothing
but the yellow hat and you feel like thinking,
you know, Polly Anna get out of it, you know?
Earth to whomever.
And so, but it just, it just really helps in many, many
different venues to understand this level of thinking.
So, thanks for pointing that out.
Okay, so the white hat, you know,
how are we going to get the missing information?
And then, for the red cap, just what is my gut reaction?
Because, if we recognize that our gut reaction to this is
negative but there's no rational reason for it to be negative,
then you can kind of hold it at bay and
look at the other perspectives.
And, you know, what are my feelings right now?
What does my intuition tell me?
And, sometimes, instead of being very volatile, you can control
that release of steam because you recognized you're in red hat
mode, and you do the, you know, the self-talk, you know, calm
down this is not about all that.
Okay and then the gray cap.
What could be the possible problems?
What could some of the difficulties be?
What are the risks and where should we be cautious?
And we're not saying that the gray hat is not very valuable,
because it is but it can be overused.
And think of it as food-- it's essential
but it can be overdone, so it's necessary,
but in the right dose.
And then the yellow cap-- what are the benefits?
We're not looking at any of the detriments, just the benefits.
What are the positives, what values,
what are the values of doing it this way?
And sometimes the yellow hat can be used to introduce a different
perspective because, many times when you introduce a different
perspective then people are always kind of wanting to say
why this probably would not work.
And so if you're totally in yellow cap mode,
then you suspend for the time being, and then this is what
the metacognitive hat can do.
When you're in yellow cap mode and somebody introduces
a negative, then it says no, we're not in negatives now,
we're only looking at positives.
Not that the negatives aren't important, but
they're just not important at that point.
And it can be used as an assessment tool,
when you're using the gray hat and the yellow hat together.
These are the cautious points, these are the benefits.
And so you can, really, use it to do a risk/benefit analysis
also, and then the green cap is the one where you're looking at
alternatives and a lot of creative ideas.
And so it's asking are there any other ways to do this?
Let's think totally outside the box.
What if we totally got rid of ACT and SAT scores,
what if we just had people interview for this?
So out of the box thinking and any kind of difficulties it can
also look at, how can we address these difficulties
so that they are really not difficulties?
And so their job, the green cap people, their job is to search
for new ways of doing things, and no caution.
With this cap all cautions aside, the sky's the limit.
Then the blue cap, managing thinking,
Thinking about thinking.
That's the one that says okay, what's our overall
agenda here, and what amount of the different types of thinking
are important to apply at this particular moment?
And what do we need for the next step if we've put out all of the
positives, then maybe it's time to have the gray hat way in
and tell us what the cautions are.
And then how can we summarize--it kind of brings you
in after things have gone in all different directions--then it
kind of brings you in and says this is where we are right now.
To summarize we've got this, and so it's the metacognitive hat.
Okay, and so what I wanted us to do was spend about
20 minutes really addressing a problem using the hats model.
So what we're going to look at is,
how can we significantly increase the critical thinking
ability of Eastern Illinois University students?
Okay, and so what I would like for us to do is to just divide
up into groups, yeah.
And we, oh okay you, and I was just going to
give one page to the group.
Okay and yeah we can rearrange the chairs.
We can put them in circles, and so there are six groups.
How many, one, two, three, well you know what,
since it doesn't matter what group we're in,
let's just count and we'll start here and we'll count to six.
And so.
[audience numbering off].
Six, okay she's going to be six.
Oh, I'm sorry, so let's have all the ones,
let's sort of congregate up here.
Okay, all the ones up here, and the one's are going to be the
white cap thinking.
And so what you're going to be thinking about--okay
and you can just give a sheet to everybody.
And then we're going to have the twos back here please,
and the twos--let me go back to see what the order was that
we had--okay the twos are going to be red cap, and so
you're going to be thinking about intuition and feelings,
what do you think most faculty reaction is going to be
to an increase in critical thinking.
Okay, and then group three I would like to have you guys
I'm going to say right up here.
All of the threes please up here,
and yeah pretend that's gray, that's good.
And so, the gray cap folks are going to be looking at
what are the cautions, what are the problems that we
might run into if we're trying to increase critical thinking
in Eastern Illinois University students?
And so I'm going to have the fours right back here.
Are you a four?
(male speaker). I am.
(Dr. McGuire). Well you're in the right place.
Okay, and so the fours are going to be yellow cap thinking,
and so you're just looking at what are all the benefits of
increasing critical thinking, yes, benefits
of anything that might do.
Then I'm going to have the fives right over here.
And my fives are going to be the green cap thinking,
and so you're going to be thinking about what are some
things that you might do that we probably haven't thought of,
probably haven't tried?
Okay, and then I'm going to have the sixes that are going to be
the blue caps, I'm going to have you guys right up here.
Okay and you guys are the CPU of the computer.
(male speaker). CPU, that should be easy.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay we are ready to see
where we are and okay, yes.
So the way that this is going to work is who's our control,
our CPU of the whole group?
Our blues right, okay and so we're going to pass the mic
to them and they'll decide how we are going to have the
discussion, which hats are going to be involved,
and I will give them the mic.
(male speaker). Is this thing on?
Alright after a lot of careful consideration,
we've figured out how we would like to do things,
and this is the only way it can be done.
So we expect your support.
Actually, we thought that in looking at all the different
angles of this, that we wanted to hear from the yellow group
first, to kind of set a baseline of what some of the benefits
would be if we were to help students increase their positive
thinking, or their critical thinking.
So, and I'm sorry I don't know which group is yellow, okay.
And what do you see as some of the benefits
of helping students do this?
(Dr. McGuire). I think we have to pass the mic.
(male speaker). I agreed to.
(Dr. McGuire). Dean Augustine, I'm going to ask
you to go up there so that they can hear you.
(Dr. Robert Augustine). I got to take my thing with me.
[audience laughter].
Like this, can you hear me?
The consensus among our group for this area was that critical
thinking would create students who would be better citizens.
They would be able to evaluate their world more successfully,
and if they're better citizens, that has a benefit to everyone
who lives in our state that they would also have the ability to
judge information more successfully, not be naive
and be able to understand their world more successfully,
and they would also be better parents as a result.
We also felt that they would also be more successful alumni
as a result of all of that, therefore if they are better
teachers, if they're better psychologists and such,
that this would have a statewide impact as a result.
They would have more job success allowing them to move ahead,
and that for us on our campus they would be better learners,
perform better for all of our faculty on their tests,
and link into our lifelong learning.
And also make the classes more successful and more effective
through their interaction, more successful and interesting for
themselves and for the professors who were there.
So those were the issues that we summarized in our group.
(Dr. McGuire). Very good, give them a hand.
Okay, and our blue group,
where do you want to go next?
(male speaker). We felt once we've established
a positive baseline, you know, for looking at the benefits,
we would like to hear from the red group next to see how
they felt about it was kind of consistent with the audience.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, so come on up,
our spokesperson for the red group.
[unclear dialogue].
(male speaker). Can you hear me now?
Okay good, we were suppose to be intuition and feelings.
So the first thing we said was yes we can.
We don't know where that came from.
So we think it is possible, I mean I think that's the
gut reaction we all had.
We differed a little bit on whether or not
it is intentional.
We think in many cases that faculty believe that
that's what they're doing in their classrooms,
but are they necessarily doing it or do they just
think that they're doing it?
That somehow just by being in the classroom,
somehow the students are just getting that.
We also talked about, well if we were trying to do it,
how do we need to do it to make it effective
and we came up with a few things.
Relevance to students' daily lives in some way.
So tying things back to something that the students can
apply it to perhaps might be a better way for them
to actually think about this.
In some cases, at least with one of the people in our group,
they were tying it to their classes in their profession.
So, students taking what they learned in their classes
and then actually applying it for their degree program
and their profession.
So, and I think it that case it works fairly effectively
because the application is probably what works.
We talked about more interdisciplinary teaching
and learning.
So if you had a project for example, and you had three
classes--let's just say an english class, a psychology
class, and a chemistry class-- that were all
given this topic or various aspects of the topic,
what would they come up with at the end?
And then, the last one, maybe if some faculty aren't engaged,
is it because they're threatened by it?
So if the students start thinking critically,
will the students start asking them questions
that they don't want to have to answer?
Or can't answer as the case may be.
[audience applause].
(Dr. McGuire). Thank you very much.
Okay my blue group, where do you want to go next?
(male speaker). We'd like to hear from the
white group next as far as what information we need.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay.
(male speaker). Just talk into it like this?
Yeah, alright, well we've established
four different categories of goals.
The first reviews is like the kind of research
we'd have to do--we imagined committees doing this,
that we would defer to them to create.
But, we've got reviews of academic literature, like,
you know, kind of inspired by what we've been doing today,
but I'm sure there's a lot more on the subject.
We could probably consult with Shauna here, too.
And, McGuire, Dr. McGuire here.
There's business solutions, like we noticed that there's, like,
critical thinking is important to businesses as well,
so kind of dove-tailing off of red's intuition there.
Like, that use is something we could research
and learn more about.
And current EIU status, like is there anything like this
going on, like, do they talk about critical thinking in,
say, logic over in the Philosophy Department?
Do they have someone who is a specialist in it?
Then, after that, we'd have to begin networking with
potential trainers here and abroad.
If we had the resources, we'd have to figure out
how to field them, what they'd be paid?
If we didn't have the resources, we'd have
to figure out how to get them here.
We'd also have to develop and agree on a definition
for critical thinking, some kind of a mission statement which
would probably be informed by both Bloom's taxonomy,
Scriven and Paul's definition, and anything else we found
in our reviews earlier.
And then finally, we'd also have to decide on how growth will be
measured, how to quantify, like, how to decide okay
have we met this goal?
Are we now 20 percent more critical then we
were beforehand, and so on and so forth.
(Dr. McGuire). Great.
[audience applause].
(male speaker). Next we need to hear from
the gray hats group.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay.
(male speaker). Hi, we in the gray group are
worried about assessment.
How are we going to assess critical thinking,
how are we going to define it?
We're worried about development and coordination
throughout all the disciplines, you know, what is critical
thinking defined differently between departments?
Integrating it I guess, the same.
Are we going to risk losing content time, you know,
just take, you know, we decided that
critical thinking is a process, you know,
it takes a lot of time you know, can we do it in the classroom?
Re-training and more teaching materials
we're sort of concerned about and we're also yes,
Eastern's class sizes are relatively small, but there
are still a few of them out there that are quite large.
How are we going to institute critical thinking in a
class size of 160 students, when that doesn't really lend itself
very well to discussion.
So, I think those are the main concerns.
Anything else?
[audience applause].
(male speaker). The last group we need to
hear from is the green hat group, about alternatives
and maybe I'm asking them prematurely, because
I would assume you kind of have to hear some of their's
first before you can come up with those alternatives.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, the green hat group.
Oh yeah, you need to come up so the folks can see you.
(male speaker). Alright, we've looked at
how to come about with creating more
critically thinking students, and one of the ways that we
talked about was creating more creative presentation methods.
In other words, how can we deliver the information that the
students need, but do it in a creative manner that will
maybe hit on all the different learning methods and so forth.
Have more open guidelines.
Many times, we're just so strict, you know maybe relax
a little bit and allow a little bit more creativity
in the guidelines.
And a practical approach, or taking it from theory
to practice, to real life situations, trying to apply it
so that it can become more meaningful and so forth.
But that's what our wonderful green group came up with.
[audience applause, laughter].
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, great.
So do we have another comment to make?
Okay, back to our blue group.
Yes, thank you very much.
And then our blue group, again.
(male speaker). Actually, the CPU.
(Dr. McGuire). Okay, the CPU.
(male speaker). Yes, and so then with
the computer, you've got the background and
lots of things occur in the background of a computer that
often in today's environment, people are not aware of,
because, all we see is the foreground.
And so then, as all that we have heard,
there are some particulars as relates to if we all work
together as we have said.
And the first is, Horace Mann-ian perspective
which is education, public education is designed to
make for a better citizenry.
And in so doing, you make for a better society.
And we've heard that echoed throughout our discussion on
this afternoon, and then secondly,
a critical pedagogus will tell you that the classroom
is designed for the co-construction of learning.
Of learning, not of the material but learning.
Because we all come to classes with textbooks.
We often will have students read articles.
That means that many of the times it's already there, but
then it's the co-construction of the learning environment
that makes for the critical thinking opportunity and the
critical thinking process that then leads to, as many of the
teams have spoken, leads to what's called collaboration.
Where we all work it together, and collaborate.
So what they may know in the Chemistry Department can also
be utilized in the Philosophy Department, and at the same time
in the the Athletic Department, because it's all dealing with
the same individuals, the same entity for the learning,
called people or students.
And so when you pull all those together, you create what is
called community and then you don't have to ask
where are we going, what are we doing, because then the I
will not be substituted for the we, and therefore we will then
be what it is that even the President has said he would
like to see us be, and that is first choice.
And so, if we put it all together, each one,
it will make for a whole body and it will also make
our students real students, as opposed to just mere machines.
The other way that often is done is deposit, deposit, deposit,
deposit and then withdrawal.
Well, guess what, if you're in the United States of America,
you know today that whatever you're withdrawing,
it's fictitious, because there's something called,
there's something called a deficit, so how can you
withdraw if there's a deficit?
Okay, so anyway, we just wanted to share that with you.
[audience applause].
(Dr. McGuire). Thank you very much.
Okay yeah, we can all move back now.
Does everybody get an idea how this really works?
And so, my question is, this is actually only the third time
I've done this activity with a group of faculty.
And I always like to take, get feedback.
Do you think this is something you could use in your class
that would work, with your group?
Okay, okay, yeah.
And, again, what we find is that it really opens students'
eyes up to the fact that they have been engaging in a lot of
different kind of things and we're going to be finished--
oh, it's ten minutes till-- okay we're going to be finished
here very quickly.
But, it really does open students' eyes up to the fact
that there are things they can be in control of their
own critical thinking.
And so, sort of as a bottom line, we can teach students to
think critically by using these reflection activities in our
classes where they actually get to think about
their actions, what the consequences are
and propose different ways of acting.
Using the thinking hats method, either with construction paper
or, you know, bringing in real caps, or having little table
tent things on their tables.
We talked a lot about communication,
and if the courses of communication across
the curriculum kind of course, then students are going to be
involved with not only oral communication,
but technological communication, written communication, because
that is one of the skills that when you talk with employers,
when you talk with anybody out there,
they want students to be able to communicate.
And students really, that's why they resonate so much with the
idea that if they prepare to teach the information,
it's so different, we talked about this this morning,
it's so different then just studying to pass the test.
Because if you've got to communicate it,
you're really approaching it from a whole different level.
Service learning courses, and I know you have a service learning
initiative here, but several people talked about making
the information relevant to students.
And if they've got to use that information to go out
in the community, and perform a service, or even if they're
working with middle school or elementary school students,
teaching them basic principles of hygiene or physiology,
or whatever, that has been, that has proven effective.
And then the last is, well the last one that I put up here
is making all examinations cumulative,
because if we're talking about this transfer of information,
students do tend to like to compartmentalize information.
And one of the practices, also that I've seen that sometimes
mitigates against students really learning thoroughly,
and it's, I think on the surface it seems like
a very good practice, but that's in dropping one exam.
Because we think dropping one exam is very favorable to
students, but so often I've seen this over and over,
I saw this at Cornell, I see it at LSU, that really good
students will make an all-out push and do very well on the
first three exams, and then they decide okay,
the fourth exam is the one I'm going to drop.
So they don't do any studying for the fourth exam,
but then the final exam is cumulative, and so
that covers that information and many times it is more heavily
weighted toward the information at the end, and so then their
grade at the end of the course drops off a whole letter grade
because, essentially almost a third of the course
they haven't attended to because of that.
But if we made all exams cumulative, so that they know
they can't just borrow the information for the first test
and have it repossessed, and borrow a whole new set of
information for the second test.
That they do have to go back and maintain that information,
but we as faculty though, would have a responsibility for
revisiting and giving them questions that allow them
to go back and use the earlier information.
Anybody have any other ideas that we might add to that?
Okay, and normally I exercise wait time, where I would wait,
but I do have a plane to catch, and so.
Okay, and I wanted to, let's see, I think this is the yeah,
the follow-up for this one was just, you know,
select a course you're teaching, and describe how you think you
might be able to incorporate, or re-incorporate strategies
that would improve critical thinking in your course.
And then the other one which was related to what we did earlier,
but a strategy that you could use to teach students
how to learn the course material, because again
we find that 90 percent of our students are in
what we call memorization- regurgitation mode.
And as long as they're in memorization/regurgitation mode,
they really don't have the ability to think critically
because they're not seeing the connections between concepts.
So, certainly you know use any of our website information,
or any of the sources to just do a little bit of
thinking about that and we don't recommend that
you go out and you throw out the whole baby with the bath water.
You might think of just trying one, just one strategy.
Because I know everybody in here is already a great professor,
but just what kind of things could you tweak to get
a little bit more benefit out of what you're doing.
And also, every place I go, and this is for Dr. Pearson,
there is a wonderful faculty member doing really innovative
great things, and but most of the other faculty
don't ever learn what they're doing.
And so, we always recommend that, you know, if you can
identify those people on campus who are doing really creative
things to increase critical thinking, then when we do
faculty development, have some of those people lead it.
And then you've got people right here on campus that can serve as
the local experts in this area, and then work together as a team
to do that.
And so I wanted to follow up I think,
yeah ,there are references at the end.
But I wanted to end, actually reading your
Eastern Illinois University mission statement,
because if I asked anyone to come up
and recite the mission statement, could you?
Okay, I won't, actually, it's a very long mission statement.
I was a little surprised, okay and my computer went off again,
so I have to get it booted back up.
But I think that it does address everything that
we were saying today.
Okay, the mission statement--
Eastern Illinois University is a public comprehensive university
that offers superior, accessible undergraduate
and graduate education.
Students learn the methods and results of free and rigorous
inquiry in the arts, humanities, sciences, and professions,
guided by a faculty known for its excellence in teaching,
research, creative activity, and service.
The University community is committed to diversity
and inclusion and fosters opportunities for
student-faculty scholarship and applied learning experiences
within a student-centered campus culture.
Throughout their education, students refine their abilities
to reason and to communicate clearly so as to become
responsible citizens and leaders.
Now that's dynamite, isn't it?
And so, I think what we were trying to talk about today is
how we can help more of our students to help
Eastern Illinois University realize its mission,
so that you'll have 90 percent of your students leaving here
with the kinds of skills that are addressed
in your mission statement.
Okay, so again thank you guys very much.
I've enjoyed talking with you.
[audience applause].
And Dr. Pearson has my email address and contact information,
and everything, and so feel free to contact me, but I know you're
going to have great fun with your students.
Yeah your students, I was really impressed with your students.
Weren't you guys impressed with them?
Yeah, and that's what I say, you know,
I've discovered that they are brilliant people,
they just don't have the right behaviors
because nobody ever told them what they needed to do.
Okay, Dr. Pearson.
(Dr. Pearson). Thank you.
Let's give Dr. Maguire another hand, she's had a long day.
[audience applause].
The ability to speak to two audiences is, it really takes a
lot of skill and talent and I really do commend you.
And, yeah, really she knew about this morning,
but this afternoon was really a challenge for her.
And I just would ask if you would be so kind to fill out
the evaluation sheets in your folders, we'd much rather
have the hard copies, and leave them on the table.
And I want to at least thank the faculty development office
staff, they did a wonderful job really marketing.
Bev Cruse and the media, did the gigantic, oversized,
you wanted to know who did that.
She did, I know you can't take it on the plane.
We have to get her to St. Louis and back home safe.
So if you have any questions, she did, she hung around
this morning, but she may not be able to hang around this
afternoon because she does need to get to a six o'clock flight.
But please feel free, I've never met such a humble woman that is
compassionate about what she does and she's really humble,
and I want to say again, thank you from
the depths of our heart.
And I can really say that from the bottom of not just me,
but a representation of EIU.
Thank you EIU family for staying.
♪ [music--no dialogue] ♪♪.