It’s been a bit of a long, hard slog this year for anyone following Iowa City Schools politics: a diversity policy, a Revenue Purpose Statement vote, a facilities planning process that generated a discussion about process and a recommendation to close school buildings, a school board vote to adopt said recommendation as amended (which may or may not retire Hoover Elementary), land purchases, and a school board election campaign.
The one topic that seems to have been sorely neglected this year (and most years, I daresay) is what goes on inside of the school buildings.
Critical thinking gets thrown around as an essential 21st century skill. So, I was interested to see a link to Dan Willingham’s video in my Twitter feed today. In the video he discusses critical thinking and challenges in encouraging students to engage in critical thinking.
Critical thinking is domain specific, rather than a general, transferable skill, that requires sustained practice. Did you notice that he doesn’t mention that teaching critical thinking requires brand-new, 21st century learning environments? I did.