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G & M Murphy Learning Ltd

Education Consultants

A new book about thinking.

Whilst at a Thinking Course in Riga, Richard Cummins MD of Thinking Schools and I attended a brief presentation by Clifton Chadwick who referred to his new book just published. Clifton has advised education authorities around the world, from Central and South America to Africa and Asia and currently works in Dubai training teachers.

He did point out that his American publishers had substituted Kids for Children in his title! Aimed at parents and teachers his book does accord with the TSI philosophy….”The modern world requires that people become more and better thinkers in order to respond to and help shape the information rich world in which we live.”

He argues that often ,even when schools say they teach thinking, close observation of lessons does not bear out such claims. As he says “Most children do not learn to think in school……Most schools teach encyclopedic information that they call “education”.

Chadwick argues that it is parents who have “the optimum opportunity to influence their children’s thinking.” Through the use of questioning, asking and answering, and by growing an awareness of the different forms of thinking.

The book goes on to explore the structure of knowledge, How we take in what we learn through absorbing ,assimilating and accommodating information in order to make sense of it.

From our understanding of the learning processes he move to how we can develop more effective learning skills. categorizing them as initial learning, advanced learning and then applied learning.

The central importance of metacognition is shown by having a whole chapter devoted to this key element of effective learning. He quotes Confucius:-

“The Master said, shall I teach thee what is wisdom? To know what we know, and what we do not know, is wisdom.”

Metacognition is followed by a chapter on dispositions, motivation and attitudes or as he says the “Desire to Think.” He explores the notion f intrinsic motivation and the use of reward and then discusses what he refers to as the basic dispositions:

- Inquisitiveness- Truth seeking- Persistence- Open mindedness

The remaining chapters refer to Intellectual standards for thinking, problem solving skills and a review of high quality critical thinking.

Written in a witty accessible style –like the author himself – and packed with clear diagrams I felt that this was a useful book covering many of the key aspects of the work of TSI.

Look also at The Thinking School: Developing a dynamic Learning Community By Kulvarn Atwal