Thursday, 2 March 2017

Critically Thinking About Critical Thinking

This afternoon I was fortunate to spend at a New Zealand Health Education Association (NZHEA) PD. The major reason I went was for an introduction to the new Alcohol and Drug Education resource, but ended up walking away with the resource and other thoughts too.

I really enjoyed meeting networking with new people, both experienced and new teachers, as well as catching up with some old friends. We were given opportunities to share our ideas, questions and concerns with our groups, which I thought was very helpful. There were some curly questions I had related to my teaching, which I needed to ask an experienced and passionate Health teacher. We don't have any experienced passionate Health teachers at Tamaki unfortunately, so I was thankful for this networking opportunity

One major take-away from the session was the need to develop critical thinkers, particularly in preparation for Scholarship exams. I classify myself as a critical thinker, and think this is an important skill for students have, so I attempt to include activities that involve critical thinking into my lessons. I am finding this tough, though. 

I liked the simple question we were suggested to ask students today "So what does this mean for you?" To explore further, the question could then ask what 'it' means to their whānau and/or the wider community. Additionally, we discussed what critical thinking actually is - a discussion I could also explore with students. Some suggestions of what critical thinking is;

- challenging the status quo/the norm
- exploring and challenging "age old assumptions"
- appreciating others perspectives
- being open-minded
- asking open-ended questions
- positive debating

Further information and examples in this YouTube clip.

I enjoyed participating in a couple of the activities from the new Drug and Alcohol resource, which looks like it will be incredible for my units later on in the year. I am feeling behind in my planning for Health, as my Seniors are a priority currently. But, I am still so thankful to be leading the Junior programme, and I am excited for some of the fun activities we will get up to this year. I feel confident that NZHEA will support me! Fingers crossed I can get to conference again this year...

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