Shifting Phases's Reviews > Getting the Buggers to Think

Getting the Buggers to Think by Sue Cowley
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really liked it

This is helpful and well organized. The table of contents includes items such as "What is concentration?" "Why do some children find it hard to concentrate?" and "Exercises for concentration." The suggestions are concrete and usable, although probably more appropriate for elementary school than other age groups.

The section on critical thinking includes logical and creative approaches without trying to categorize them rigidly. The definition of critical thinking is well elaborated and thought provoking, including things like proposing, connecting, solving, and supporting. I've seen this information classified more thoroughly (see the Foundation for Critical Thinking), but this exploration was also quite understandable. The author also includes some silly but nontrivial examples of logical fallacies that could be helpful in stimulating discussion.

There's also an interesting section on evaluative thinking. The author gives suggestions for structuring and scaffolding evaluations, such as " find three good points about the work," giving students a rubric, modeling evaluative questions(Does it make sense? Is it well written? Does it appeal to the audience it's aimed at?) or passing around work from another grade level. (p. 139)

The ideas are broad enough to incorporate in a wide variety of subjects. The author is British, so some of the references are to British curriculum standards, but any teacher could find something to like in here.


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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 24, 2011 – Shelved

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