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Building Student Centered Learning Communities Through Critical Thinking
Unformatted Document Text:  policy, the work we are presenting can provide policy-makers at the federal, state, and local levels with guidelines for designing critical thinking oriented assessments and concomitantly related content standards and curriculum designs to move classroom instruction toward student-centered learning communities based on critical thinking. Concerning successful (exemplary) practices, our poster session will present the results of a long-term ongoing unique and innovative collaboration where teacher education professors are working hand and hand with elementary teachers in the classroom on a weekly basis to plan and carry out instruction to infuse critical thinking throughout the curriculum. E. Implication for Action: The concrete changes that can occur from the work presented in our poster session involve shifting the focus of classroom instruction from didactic information processing to a form of instruction which engages students’ minds and supports and guides them in making the intellectual effort to figure things out for the purpose of developing understanding. Another concrete change that will result from our work will be in the types of activities teacher educators can engage in to effectively both enrich K- 12 classroom instruction and at the same time inform the nature and content of instruction we need to be carrying out in college and university teacher education programs. A third outcome that will result from this work is in the area of research. This session will describe in detail the plans and instruments to be used the 2005-06 school year to collect data from participant and control groups to determine the effects on critical thinking skills and math and reading test scores as the result of the collaborative university/school project presented in this session. Section 2: Outcomes and Methods A. Learner/participant outcomes: Through this poster session participants will learn how to transform curriculum and instruction in the classroom so students are engaged in thinking critically as they participate in instructional activities. Further, participants will learn how they can set up collaborative projects in the field that effectively enrich classroom instruction at both the K-12 and teacher education levels. Finally, participants will gain practical insights into designing critical thinking assessment instruments with related research applications. B. Methods: The three outcomes described above will be achieved in this session in the following manner. The outcome of transforming curriculum and instruction to help students become critical thinkers will be achieved in this session by presenting participants with the essential theoretical framework underlying our project; instructional strategies and materials developed based on this framework; selected lesson plans used; and samples of resulting student work. The outcome of setting up collaborative university/school projects will be achieved by describing this project in terms of activities, participants and their roles, resources utilized and problems faced and overcome as we are poised to enter the third full year of implementation. The outcome of designing critical thinking assessment instruments and related research applications will be achieved by presenting participants with a comprehensive critical test and related action research design that was piloted this past school year in preparation for full implementation in the 2005-06 school year.

Authors: Levine, Joel. and Borman, Suzanne.
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policy, the work we are presenting can provide policy-makers at the federal, state,
and local levels with guidelines for designing critical thinking oriented
assessments and concomitantly related content standards and curriculum designs
to move classroom instruction toward student-centered learning communities
based on critical thinking. Concerning successful (exemplary) practices, our
poster session will present the results of a long-term ongoing unique and
innovative collaboration where teacher education professors are working hand
and hand with elementary teachers in the classroom on a weekly basis to plan and
carry out instruction to infuse critical thinking throughout the curriculum.
E. Implication for Action: The concrete changes that can occur from the work
presented in our poster session involve shifting the focus of classroom instruction
from didactic information processing to a form of instruction which engages
students’ minds and supports and guides them in making the intellectual effort to
figure things out for the purpose of developing understanding. Another concrete
change that will result from our work will be in the types of activities teacher
educators can engage in to effectively both enrich K- 12 classroom instruction and
at the same time inform the nature and content of instruction we need to be
carrying out in college and university teacher education programs. A third
outcome that will result from this work is in the area of research. This session
will describe in detail the plans and instruments to be used the 2005-06 school
year to collect data from participant and control groups to determine the effects on
critical thinking skills and math and reading test scores as the result of the
collaborative university/school project presented in this session.
Section 2: Outcomes and Methods
A. Learner/participant outcomes: Through this poster session participants will
learn how to transform curriculum and instruction in the classroom so students are
engaged in thinking critically as they participate in instructional activities.
Further, participants will learn how they can set up collaborative projects in the
field that effectively enrich classroom instruction at both the K-12 and teacher
education levels. Finally, participants will gain practical insights into designing
critical thinking assessment instruments with related research applications.
B. Methods: The three outcomes described above will be achieved in this session in
the following manner. The outcome of transforming curriculum and instruction to
help students become critical thinkers will be achieved in this session by
presenting participants with the essential theoretical framework underlying our
project; instructional strategies and materials developed based on this framework;
selected lesson plans used; and samples of resulting student work. The outcome
of setting up collaborative university/school projects will be achieved by
describing this project in terms of activities, participants and their roles, resources
utilized and problems faced and overcome as we are poised to enter the third full
year of implementation. The outcome of designing critical thinking assessment
instruments and related research applications will be achieved by presenting
participants with a comprehensive critical test and related action research design
that was piloted this past school year in preparation for full implementation in the
2005-06 school year.


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