Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thinking Critically

"Critical thinking is not just a matter of applying the rules of logic (much less scientific method). It is a matter of thinking and feeling empathetically with others, of engaging one's imagination, of having access to a wealth of facts about the possible effects of alternative actions, of discerning patterns of meaning in experience, of looking at the world from different perspectives." ~ Warren Nord
Critical Thinking Skills
Mission: Critical
Reflective Thinking
Logical Fallacies
Propoganda & Advertising
Cognitive Dissonance
List of Newspeak Words
Scientific Method
Who(m) Do We Trust?

"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be;

but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."--Lewis Carroll

Are we teaching our kids to think critically?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Power of Words

No question about it, words carry connotations as well as literal meanings. Beyond that, they also can convey meaning based on the manner in which they are said and the way they are pieced together in sentences.

NPR: Power of Language

Words . . .

  • Can be used to clarify or confuse.
  • Can be used to pull us together or divide us.

Care to add to the list?

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How Groups Work

I was reflecting on the nature of groups last night and found these sites to be helpful in better understanding group dynamics.

Group Dynamics: Basic Nature of Groups
Groups That Work
A Guide to Group Work
Small Group Dynamics: Groupthink
Wikipedia: Groupthink
Team Building at LIM Resources
Process Skills at LIM Resources

What are ways of making groups work better?

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Listening, Really Listening

"To respond is positive, to react is negative."
~Zig Zigler

With all the distractions in modern life, are we able to really listen and to give the person talking to us our full attention? How important is eye contact and our undivided attention? Can we get beyond reacting from our own perspective and really put ourselves in the shoes of the other person in order to understand who they are and where they are coming from? In short, can we be comfortable enough with ourselves that we can let go and listen?

Listening Skills and Active Listening Skills at LIM Resources

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing about" ~ Kenneth A. Wells

"Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirit soars." Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo Buscaglia

"Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

"I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying." ~ Charles C. Finn

"The little child whispered, "God, speak to me." And a meadowlark sang. But the child did not hear. So the child yelled, "God, speak to me!" And the thunder rolled across the sky. But the child did not listen. The child looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shone brightly But the child did not notice. And the child shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And a life was born. But the child did not know. So the child cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!" Whereupon God reached down and touched the child. But the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away unknowingly. Take time to listen. Often times, the things we seek are right underneath our noses. Don't miss out on your blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect." ~ Anonymous

How can we be better listeners?

Island Learning

North Haven, Maine has a unique K-12 school that might be a model for schools on the mainland.

North Haven Community School

Edutopia - "Treasured Island: Giving Students Real Skills and Real Responsibilities"

Edutopia - "How To: Raise the Educational Stakes with Project Learning"

NPR - Maine School Bind Isolated Island Together

What other models of project-based learning are there in Maine?

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