Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ULearn 11 @ Rotorua

Finally I'm here at ULearn again for the first time since 2009. I enthusiastically enrolled the four of us from EPS in the pre-conference workshops held today although the closer it got the more stressed I have become! What seemed like a good idea in Term 2 suddenly seemed a little less attractive when I looked at my long to-do list that isn't getting any shorter these holidays! Now that I'm here the excitement has returned - thinking about all the people I'm going to catch-up with and all the learning opportunities I'm going to be exposed to ....

First up - a full day workshop on questioning with Trevor Bond.

Making a Difference - Keeping it Real

Two types of questions:

Unexpressed (cognitive, hidden part of the process of thinking)
Expressed (communicated)

Questioning is the engine-house of thinking - De Bono

Individually tried a Sudoku for five minutes. What were we thinking?
  • analysis, eliminating - what are the possibilities?
  • could it be ...
  • can it be ...
  • if I put ...
Thinking during this activity involved the process of asking and answering questions.

Smart Schools: Better Thinking and Learning for Every Child by David Perkins (colleague of De Bono). He discusses stages of thinking:
  • tacit (automaticity)
  • aware (making conscious decisions)
  • strategic (planning, thinking ahead)
  • reflective (evaluating)
Thinking is when you talk to yourself and your mouth stays shut - De Bono

Questioning is our most important intellectual tool - Neil Postman

Cognitive skills handout eg synthesising, generalising, investigating etc. All of them involve questioning in some part.

Learning is the process of extending our known to include something that was unknown and effective thinking is the activity that powers learning. Effective thinking is a process of asking and answering questions.

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