- What messages are we sending students about what learning is and how learning happens? What do students think learning is? As teachers, do we know what we mean when we ask children to learn?
- What are kids learning about what learning is when they are with us? What is their conceptual understanding of learning?
- How can we take more notice of the culture of our classrooms - and what it communicates to learners about the value and importance of thinking?
- How might we make students’ thinking more visible, give it more value, and use it to navigate learning?
- How can we send a message to students that thinking matters?
- Social dispositions - attitudes and habits that relate to how groups and people function eg: cooperativeness, humour, empathy
- Work dispositions - attitudes and habits related to work and school performance eg: persistence, concern for quality, willingness to do one’s best, reviewing one’s work, putting forth best effort
- Thinking dispositions - attitudes and habits that facilitate and promote effective thinking, eg: open-mindedness, curiosity, skepticism, looking at both sides of the issue (perspective seeking)
An observation that Mark made was that If the social dispositions and work dispositions are a mess, you would be hard pressed to find thinking going on in a school/classroom. But the converse is not true. Just because social and work dispositions are in place it doesn’t automatically follow that there is a culture of thinking.
Or as Mark put it - the culture is the co-teacher in the classroom.
And perhaps instead of asking what 3 or 4 attitudes, dispositions or habits we want students to come into to our classroom with, we should instead be asking what 3 or 4 attitudes, dispositions, habits do we wish that our students left our classrooms with that would serve their learning well - long after they’ve left us?