My thanks to Jim Bellanca, editor of the P21 blog, for reaching out to me and requesting a post about my professional journey in linking my work as an educator with teaching critical thinking skills in schools. The post, entitled “My Professional Odyssey With Critical Thinking,” gave me the opportunity to reflect about my lifelong pursuit of education, which took me from my days as a schoolgirl growing up in in rural Oklahoma to a career in which insights about the science of learning have enhanced my effectiveness as a teacher educator.
Along the way, I delved deeply into the research and writing of Robert Sternberg and exploring the theory of structural cognitive modifiability developed by Reuven Feuerstein. The work of Sternberg, Feuerstein, and others whom I mention in the P21 blog post have had a profound effect on my career and put me on a path that allowed me to share what I learned about critical thinking with other educators.
A key component of critical thinking is to remember that everyone has the power to learn, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status. Here is an excerpt from the blog post that speaks to that point:
“Of all the implications of mind, brain, and education research that have the power to transform school policies, classroom practice, and student achievement, I believe that the belief in each learner's unfettered propensity to think is near the top of the list. But as a society, and even within the policies and practices of our own profession to some extent, we need to set aside some culturally ingrained misconceptions about intelligence, learning and thinking—as I have had to do when assessing my professional journey.”
I invite you to read the rest of the post at the link.