Critical Thinking in the Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T&L 900: ONL: Critical Thinking in the Classroom Syllabus (partial)

Introduction

 

 

 

Would you like to explore a well-respected critical thinking model that you can use effectively in your classroom? Would you like to learn how to improve your critical thinking skills and those of your students? In this course you will gain powerful and complex critical thinking tools that you can use in your classroom and they will help you evaluate other critical thinking models that you discover.

The critical thinking model we use in this course was developed by researchers at the Foundation for Critical Thinking at the University of California, Berkley. You will discover how to use this critical thinking model to become more aware of your own thinking and to help your students develop strong critical thinking skills. This critical thinking model includes the elements of reason, intellectual standards and intellectual traits. Our textbook is the landmark book written by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, Critical Thinking:How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing world. In addition, the foundation has various short videos available on You Tube that show Richard Paul and others explaining the critical thinking model.

The lesson topics and activities include: exploring critical thinking in an historical and cultural context; applying the critical thinking model to analyze a media article of your choosing; sharing your thoughts, experiences, and research with fellow students in blogs; and, visiting the foundation website which is an excellent resource for teachers at all levels from K12 to higher education. In the final lesson, you will design a practical project or lesson plan for your classroom that incorporates the critical thinking model.

Textbook

The textbook is titled, Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World by Richard Paul and Linda Elder.

Course Objectives

In this course you will accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Describe the critical thinking model including the Elements of Reason and Intellectual standards Traits.
  2. Use Socratic questioning to help understand the elements of critical thinking.
  3. Use the elements of critical thinking to analyze a current media article.
  4. Describe the Intellectual Standards and provide examples.
  5. Describe the Intellectual Traits and apply to your understanding of critical thinking.
  6. Design a classroom lesson plan that incorporates the critical thinking model (Elements of Reason and Intellectual Standards and Traits).

Assignments and Grading

This course has seven lessons and you must complete all of the lessons to receive credit for the course. You are to complete the lessons in sequence. Some of the lessons have required reading from the textbook. Be sure to complete the assigned readings and read the lesson objectives and instructional notes carefully. The notes provide detailed explanation for the assignments.

Each lesson includes a blog assignment. There are detailed instructions for how to use and upload files to a blog in each of the lessons. This feature allows you to interact with fellow students, share your ideas and experiences, and receive valuable feedback on your work.

The assignments all have points values and you will find a detailed description of the requirements in each lesson. Your final grade for the course is based on your total points accumulated out of the 385 points possible. You will receive a letter grade for the course, unless you choose the pass/fail option.

The letter grade is based on the following scale:

A 90 – 100% 346 – 385 points
B 80 – 89% 308 – 345 points
C 70 – 79% 269 – 307 points
D 60 – 69% 231 – 268 points
F Below 60% 230 and below points

The pass/fail grade is based on the following scale:

Pass 308 – 385 points
Fail 307 and below points

You can view your grade by clicking on the Course Tools button under Tools on the navigation bar to your left and then click on My Grades.

Overview of Assignments and Points for the Lessons

Detailed descriptions and points assigned are in the assignment section of each lesson.

Assignment

Points

Total Points

Lesson #1

Blog

20

45

Essay Questions

25

Lesson #2

Blog

15

40

Essay Questions

25

Lesson #3

Blog

25

60

Reflective Paper

35

Lesson #4

Blog

45

45

Lesson #5

Blog

15

60

Essay Questions

45

Lesson #6

Blog

35

60

Essay

25

Lesson #7

Blog

65

75

Reflective Paper

10

Understanding Assignment Points

Please note that the points awarded each assignment are carefully considered and can help you understand the value placed on the assignment. The designated points may also help you plan the time needed to complete the assignment.

Your performance is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Directions are followed correctly.
  2. All assignments are completed, labeled, and easy to read.
  3. Papers are proofread and edited to achieve college-level work.
  4. Content is consistent with the points assigned for each assignment.
  5. Written assignments are clearly written, thorough, precise, and accurate.

Grading Rubric for Assignments

Refer to the rubric below to understand the expectations and standards used for grading the assignments.

Grading

90 – 100%

A

80 – 89%

B

70 – 79%

C

60 – 69%

D

Below 60%

F

Objective #1

Extremely clear, accurate, precise and thorough description of the model. Mostly clear, accurate, precise and thorough description of the model. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise and thorough description of the model. Not clear, accurate, precise and thorough description of the model. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Objective #2

Extremely clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of Socratic questioning. Mostly clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of Socratic questioning. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of Socratic questioning. Not clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of Socratic questioning. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Objective #3

Extremely clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of the elements of reason to analyze an article. Mostly clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of the elements of reason to analyze an article. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of the elements of reason to analyze an article. Not clear, accurate, precise, and thorough use of the elements of reason to analyze an article. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Objective #4

Extremely clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description of the intellectual standards and appropriate examples. Mostly clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description of the intellectual standards and appropriate examples. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description of the intellectual standards and examples. Not clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description of the intellectual standards and inappropriate examples. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Objective #5

Extremely clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description and application of the intellectual traits. Mostly clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description and application of the intellectual traits. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description and application of the intellectual traits. Not clear, accurate, precise, and thorough description and application of the intellectual traits. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Objective #6

Extremely clear, accurate, precise, and thorough classroom project or lesson plan using the model. Mostly clear, accurate, precise, and thorough classroom project or lesson plan using the model. Somewhat clear, accurate, precise, and thorough classroom project or lesson plan using the model. Not clear, accurate, precise, and thorough classroom project or lesson plan using the model. Is not acceptable; does not follow the requirements.

Final Project Paper

Description: In this assignment you are to use the critical thinking model we explored in this course to design or redesign a lesson plan. You can use whatever type of lesson plan you wish. The grade level and topic is also your choice. This paper will be attached to your blog entry for other students in the class to read. This is the culminating assignment in the course so it requires your best effort.

Format: Minimum length 3 – 4 pages. Use a font that is easy to read such as Time New Roman. Use bullets and tables as necessary but don’t over use them. Do NOT use all capital letters or bold the text – bold or underlined headings are fine. Save as a word document (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf) or PDF (.pdf) ONLY!

Content: Use the critical thinking model (Elements of Reason and Intellectual Standards Traits) to design or redesign a classroom lesson plan. Write a paper describing your project. Be sure that your paper is descriptive, thorough, precise, accurate, and clearly written.

You must address all of the following items in your paper; they can be in a separate section at the beginning or the end of your paper or incorporated throughout.

    1. Explain how you used the critical thinking model in the process of designing your project.
    2. Describe how the project includes critical thinking in both the content and the pedagogy.
    3. Discuss how the Elements, Standards, and Traits make the content meaningful for the students.
    4. Describe how you will evaluate the lesson plan to identify whether the students have successfully used critical thinking.

Scholastic Dishonesty

Students enrolled in this course are expected to be aware of the seriousness of scholastic dishonesty. Unacceptable behavior such as submitting someone else’s work as your own, cheating on exams, or plagiarizing can result in failure of the course or other sanctions. For a more detailed description of these policies, please refer to the UND Code of Student Life, Section 3-3 at http://sos.und.edu/csl/ .

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