Monday, October 03, 2005

Thinking in Outdoor Inquiry

Thinking in Outdoor Inquiry. OK, this article is going to be hard to adopt to library instruction. We just are not going to take the class outside to teach. However, I found the writing on two views of knowledge interesting and very applicable to critical thinking.

From the site:

This digest contrasts the traditional view of learning characteristic of classroom instruction with the emerging "constructivist" view. This emerging view concerns how and why students learn, and it has a great deal to do with the instructional advantages of outdoor education. The discussion, therefore, illustrates the sorts of activities that teachers can undertake in the outdoors to help students develop the skills and dispositions of thinking.


The traditional view of knowledge--represented all too often in actual classroom practice (e.g., Marzano and colleagues, 1988)--holds that students receive knowledge from the teacher. To demonstrate what they learn in this fashion, students reproduce information on tests, rather than by undertaking actual performances. According to some observers (e.g., Beyer, 1987; Jones, Palincsar, Ogle, & Carr, 1987; Resnick, 1989), classroom practice that adheres to this view accounts for much of the failure to teach thinking.

Although developing the ability to think has long been the stated goal of schooling, educators did not begin to attend seriously to the teaching of thinking until the 1980s (Worsham & Stockton, 1986). "Constructivism" is a new theory of learning that is presently receiving much attention as an alternative to the traditional view of knowledge (Resnick, 1989).

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