Overcoming Student Learning Bottlenecks: Decode the Critical Thinking of Your Discipline

Stylus Publishing, LLC
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Decoding the Disciplines is a widely-used and proven methodology that prompts teachers to identify the bottlenecks – the places where students get stuck – that impede learners’ paths to expert thinking in a discipline. The process is based on recognizing the gap between novice learning and expert thinking, and uncovering tacit knowledge that may not be made manifest in teaching.

Through “decoding”, implicit expert knowledge can be turned into explicit mental tasks, and made available to students. This book presents a seven-step process for uncovering bottlenecks and determining the most effective way to enable students to surmount them.

The authors explain how to apply the seven steps of Decoding the Disciplines – how to identify bottlenecks, unpack the critical thinking of experts, teach students how to do this kind of thinking, and how to evaluate the degree to which students have learned to do it. They provide in-depth descriptions of each step and, at the end of each chapter, at least one exercise the reader can do on his or her own. Because the decoding process works well with groups, they also provide exercises for leading groups through the process, making available to informal groups as well as groups led by professional developers, the tools to transform their understanding of teaching and learning by getting the student view that they refer to as “the bottleneck perspective”.

Because it focuses on the mental moves that underlie the cognitive competencies we want students to develop, spelling out what critical thinking consists of for any field, the methodology helps teachers to get beyond focus on content delivery and transmission and provides criteria to select from the bewildering array of teaching tools the methods most appropriate to what they are teaching.

This is a book for faculty who want their students to develop disciplinary forms of reasoning, and are moreover interested in a methodology with the potential to transform and reinvigorate their teaching. It is particularly suitable for use in communities of practice, and should be indispensable for any one engaged in cross-disciplinary teaching, as it enables co-teachers to surface each other’s tacit knowledge and disciplinary assumptions.
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About the author

Joan Middendorf is Lead Instructional Consultant in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and Adjunct Professor in Educational Leadership at Indiana University. Joan Middendorf’s specialty lies in leading faculty to help make disciplinary ways of thinking available to students in such groups as a Media School, Latino Studies Program and NSF-funded STEM groups at universities around the world. With David Pace she developed and published the “Decoding the Disciplines” model. As co-director of the History Learning Project (HLP), she has focused on emotional bottlenecks to learning. Along with Professors Diaz, Pace, and Shopkow the HLP won the 2008 Menges Research Award from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education and the 2009 McGraw-Hill – Magna Publications (Weimer) Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award. Among her many publications, she was first author on the 2015 “What’s feeling got to do with it? Decoding emotional bottlenecks in the history classroom,” which appeared in Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 14.

Leah Shopkow is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University. Leah Shopkow examines medieval historiography in her disciplinary work, which provided a natural segue into history pedagogy. A founding co-director and the PI of the History Learning Project (HLP), her recent publications include “The History Learning Project ‘Decodes’ a Discipline: The Union of Epistemology and Teaching” in The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning In and Across the Disciplines (2013) as and “From Bottlenecks to Epistemology in History: Changing the Conversation about the Teaching of History in Colleges and Universities” in Changing the Conversation about Higher Education (2103) as first author. With Arlene Díaz she has written “A Tale of Two Thresholds,” in Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2017) and has had an article entitled “How Many Sources Do I Need?” accepted by The History Teacher. Her critical edition of the Chronicle of Andres (c. 1220-1234, Pas-de-Calais) has been accepted by Corpus Christianorum.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Stylus Publishing, LLC
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Published on
Dec 31, 2017
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781620366677
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Higher
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For Freshman Orientation or Critical Thinking courses as well as a supplementary text for use in any subject-matter at any educational level. This concise, effective guide is designed to help students learn to think critically in any subject-matter.

Learning to Think Things Through presents a combination of instruction and exercises that shows the reader how to become active learners rather than passive recipients of information, use critical thinking to more fully appreciate the power of the discipline they are studying, to see its connections to other fields and to their day-to-day lives, and to maintain an overview of the field so they can see the parts in terms of the whole. The model of critical thinking (used throughout the book) is in terms of the elements of reasoning, standards, and critical thinking processes. This model is well-suited to thinking through any problem or question. The 4th edition reflects streamlined writing, with changes and substantial edits on virtually every page.

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In Creating Wicked Students, Paul Hanstedt argues that courses can and should be designed to present students with what are known as “wicked problems” because the skills of dealing with such knotty problems are what will best prepare them for life after college. As the author puts it, “this book begins with the assumption that what we all want for our students is that they be capable of changing the world....When a student leaves college, we want them to enter the world not as drones participating mindlessly in activities to which they’ve been appointed, but as thinking, deliberative beings who add something to society.”

There’s a lot of talk in education these days about “wicked problems”—problems that defy traditional expectations or knowledge, problems that evolve over time: Zika, ISIS, political discourse in the era of social media. To prepare students for such wicked problems, they need to have wicked competencies, the ability to respond easily and on the fly to complex challenges. Unfortunately, a traditional education that focuses on content and skills often fails to achieve this sense of wickedness. Students memorize for the test, prepare for the paper, practice the various algorithms over and over again—but when the parameters or dynamics of the test or the paper or the equation change, students are often at a loss for how to adjust.

This is a course design book centered on the idea that the goal in the college classroom—in all classrooms, all the time—is to develop students who are not just loaded with content, but capable of using that content in thoughtful, deliberate ways to make the world a better place. Achieving this goal requires a top-to-bottom reconsideration of courses, including student learning goals, text selection and course structure, day-to-day pedagogies, and assignment and project design. Creating Wicked Students takes readers through each step of the process, providing multiple examples at each stage, while always encouraging instructors to consider concepts and exercises in light of their own courses and students.
Promotes a model of critique for teachers, scholars, and policy makers to challenge established educational practice in a global context.

The Wiley International Handbook of Educational Foundations features international scholars uniquely qualified to examine issues specific to their regions of the world. The Handbook provides readers with an alternative to the traditional texts in the foundations of education by taking aim at the status quo, and by offering frameworks from which teachers and scholars of education can critically evaluate schools and schooling. Throughout, the essays are grounded in a broad historical context and the authors use an international lens to examine current controversies in order to provoke the kinds of discussion crucial for developing a critical stance.

The Handbook is presented in six parts, each beginning with an Introduction to the subject. The sections featured are: Part I. Challenging Foundational Histories and Narratives of Achievement; Part II. Challenging Notions of Normalcy and Dominion; Part III. Challenging the Profession; Part IV. Challenging the Curriculum; Part V. Challenging the Idea of Schooling; and Part VI. Challenging Injustice, Inequity, and Enmity.

The Wiley International Handbook of Educational Foundations offers unique insight into subjects such as:

Educational reform in India, Pakistan, and China The global implications of equity-driven education Teacher education and inclusionary practices The Global Educational Reform Movement (G.E.R.M.) Education and the arts Maria Montessori and Loris Malaguzzi Legal education in authoritarian Syria

The Wiley International Handbook of Educational Foundations is an important book for current and aspiring educators, scholars, and policy makers.

Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?
 
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
 
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
 
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.
The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job
 
Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration.
 
Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success.  They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options.
 
Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.
 
Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:
 
-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right
 
The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.
A groundbreaking manifesto about what our nation’s top schools should be—but aren’t—providing: “The ex-Yale professor effectively skewers elite colleges, their brainy but soulless students (those ‘sheep’), pushy parents, and admissions mayhem” (People).

As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges are turning out conformists without a compass.

Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it.

“Excellent Sheep is likely to make…a lasting mark….He takes aim at just about the entirety of upper-middle-class life in America….Mr. Deresiewicz’s book is packed full of what he wants more of in American life: passionate weirdness” (The New York Times).
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