THE STUDENTS GAIN THE FOLLOWINGS AT THINKING TRAINING COURSES IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL;
Understanding that thinking is a human activity.
Understanding that thinking improves the quality of being human.
Feeling eager to research by triggering the feelings of curiosity and surprise.
Being responsive towards and interested in the problems around.
Acting with an inquiring attitude when encounters with a new situation.
Understanding that thinking is an act which has a positive influence on the perception of life and makes people happy.
Understanding the importance of thinking in producing information, solving problems, and improving life.
Understanding that the act of thinking is possible through criticism and creativity.
Understanding that thinking is a logical, systematic, and progressive production.
By seeing that different ideas can occur around an issue, understanding that finding one’s own point of view and developing one’s own thought is important.
Understanding that different thoughts contribute to the culture of common life.
Gaining an awareness of time and history.
Understanding that thinking is a dynamic process, and it plays an important role in building the future.
By making a connection between thinking and life, developing a positive attitude about the meaning and value of life.
Understanding that thinking is an activity which sets the individuals free and builds the self.
Displaying an inquiring and critical attitude.
Questioning the relation between the claims and truth.
Questioning the reliability of the information.
Using appropriate proof to support or confute ideas.
Gaining authentic, creative, and selective thinking skills to guide their daily life.
Expressing thoughts in a logical integrity.
Paying attention to be coherent in their thinking.
Questioning the contradictions in their thoughts.
Realizing that new opportunities can come out from difficult situations.
Evaluating the cases and facts in their peculiar context.
Expressing their thoughts kindly, clearly, and effectively.
Understanding that self-criticism is an attitude which improves the common life and reduces mistakes.
THINKING TRAINING COURSE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
The Thinking Training program was designed with a thematic approach. Different themes about the various aspects of the thinking activity were determined and different amount of learning acquisitions were produced for each theme. In addition to the theme-related learning acquisitions, values and concepts were also included.
Mainly, the program is intended to develop the skills of questioning ideas, producing new and alternative ideas, and freely expressing their thoughts in the students. In this respect, it is a student-centered program reflecting the nature of the thinking training.
During the class, the teacher uses the “Socratic Questioning” technique frequently to help the students develop their reasoning and questioning skills.
With circle activities called the “Questioning Group,” an appropriate environment is created for the group to give importance to each other’s’ thoughts, listen to each other effectively and discuss together productively.
Since no subject area information is included in the program, the students’ interests, needs, expectations, developmental characteristics and readiness levels are taken into consideration activities to plan intended to have the students achieve the learning outcomes.
The activities and practices that help to develop the skills of critical and creative thinking, communication, researching, problem solving, decision making, using information technologies, entrepreneurship, using Turkish correctly and effectively, observation, perception of place, perception of change and continuity through the time and chronology, social participation, and empathy are used in the classes.
The class activities balance the knowledge and skills, paves the way for interaction with the environment by considering the students’ experiences and individual differences.
By using active learning methods and strategies, class activities which enable the students display and develop their mental performances are carried out.
Individual and group activities, cooperative learning activities, learning through examples, transferring learning to new situations, and summarizing activities are included in the classes.
The students are encouraged to learn the scientific knowledge by exploring, doing-experiencing, and first-hand concrete experiences and examples with constructive and activity-based approaches.
The students learn and comprehend the subjects by feeling through creative drama activities.
The classroom learning is supported through the homework that require the students to produce ideas about meeting the needs of the society on several issues, to transfer, discuss, plan this idea to the other people, to come to a compromise with others and to take action.
In addition to the course books, real life areas and various materials are used in the process of teaching. The materials used include the followings: fairy tales, stories, poems, videos, films, pictures, sample cases and experiences, several objects, sample dialogues, etc.
MEASUREMENT-ASSESSMENT FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL THINKING TRAINING COURSE
The fact that the students’ thoughts cannot be evaluated as true or false and that the act of thinking is correct and valuable itself require a different measurement and assessment approach.
This course’s measurement and assessment is not knowledge based, but skill based.
Performance-based measurement and assessment tools are used to monitor and assess if the students have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed for critical, creative and analytical thinking.
In the Thinking Training course, the students are expected to be willing to participate in the thinking activities, to use the reasoning ways required by the thinking skills, and as a result, produce a wok. The students’ progress is monitored in this respect by using several observation and assessment forms.
At the end of the school year, the students submit a portfolio including the stories, scenarios, compositions, dairies, dialogue completing works, visual materials, etc. that they produced. The portfolios are assessed according to the previously determined criteria.