EDvice Exchange

EDvice Exchange is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching‘s blog. It serves instructors in the Temple community and other institutions of higher education. This resource provides effective, research-based teaching practices for your consideration and the comments forum will enable you to engage with CAT staff and other participants.
A brain attuned to the world around it
critical thinking

Critical thinking is hard. Like other important cognitive skills, critical thinking requires practice.  We don’t learn to think critically by memorizing a set of rules.

notebook, pen, smartphone

As educators, many of us want our students to become more nuanced, reflective thinkers, but we do not always take the time necessary to apply the same standard to our teaching. Improving your classroom practice isn’t always about finding the right technological tool or incorporating the latest pedagogical fad. Deeper, more meaningful change often originates from within.

A wagon train
practice, feedback, skills

On the trek of learning, many students have no idea whether they are in the first or the last wagon.  Without practice and feedback, students often are in the dark about how well they are learning.

backflip

Have you ever walked into your classroom with the utmost confidence during exam day, thinking “My students are going to do great on this exam.  We covered all the material so they are prepared.” Then, when grading the exam, you are shocked by the poor performance in the class as a whole. You think “Didn’t we cover this?”  I am sure after chatting with some of your colleagues you realize that you are not alone.

Two printed pages, a magnifying glass, a pencil, and a pen
critical thinking, group work, practice, learning activities

Frequently, students encounter course work in which writing and revision practices are not integrated into the work of the classroom.  These tasks are left to students to undertake independently and this approach reinforces a belief that writing and revision are separate from learning and understanding content.

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