While many of us in education continuously speak about critical thinking and 21st Century Skills, we often forget to explain what we are talking about. Normally the first step in achieving a goal is making sure all the stakeholders both understand and agree with it. In an effort to help students perform better, I thought I would share below some of the major points in what The Critical Thinking Community calls “18 Ideas for Becoming a Master Student.” The full list may be found in an article at: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/how-to-study-and-learn-part-one/513.
1. Make sure you thoroughly understand the requirements of each class, how it will be taught and what will be expected of you.
a. Seek to find the key concept of the course during the first couple of class meetings
2. Become an active learner by:
a. Asking questions to fill in the missing pieces of your learning
b. Making connections to previous learning
c. Relating content to issues, problems, and practical situations in your life
3. Continually improve by:
a. Frequently evaluating your listening, reading, writing, and thinking skills
b. Practicing those studying and learning skills at which you are not good
c. Trying to summarize, orally or in writing, the main points of the previous class meeting
d. Frequently asking yourself: “Can I explain this to someone not in class?”
4. Use writing as a way to learn by writing summaries in your own words of important points from the textbook or other reading material.