I decided to begin with a question: Where do good ideas come from? Students discussed this in small groups and then shared with the class.
It's a nice little diagnostic and I'm curious to see how students will explain where good ideas come from at the end of this exploration of Integrative Thinking.
Next, I introduced students to key ideas from Ellie Avishai's keynote "Solving Tough Problems Through Integrative Thinking". I'm not certain if the slides are in the public domain, so I will not be sharing those with you at this point.
1. We see an entire world, but perceive only small pieces.
2. Our first impressions keep us from seeing the full picture.
2. We build mental models of reality. These models are always incomplete.
3. We are not always aware of our models.
4. Sometimes we see things that aren't even there.
5. We construct models when there really is no connection.
6. We are quick to accept over-simplified models.
7. We miss things that are right in front of us.
Mental models help us make sense of our world.
They are incomplete and often wrong.
We confuse the model with reality.
We tend to confirm what we think is true.
We had a lively discussion and in the afternoon went to the computer lab to further our learning. I no longer teach concepts and content that students can figure out on their own. Instead I gave them instructions:
1. Construct your knowledge on The Ladder of Inference.
2. Visit video, text-based sights and images to develop understanding.
3. Include: TedEd Ladder of Inference
Finally, they were asked to open up word and explain their understanding of the Ladder and how it can lead to errors in thinking or bad judgement. Not all students finished in 1 period, so on the second day, I added an additional sight from The Waters Foundation. I had some great discussions with several students as they worked their way through the learning and there were also small groups who spontaneously gathered to explore and discuss the site. Writing pieces began to appear towards the end of class. I've included several below.
After two days of exploring the concept, we are already beginning to identify when someone has gone up the ladder of inference during discussions. What a great tool for helping students (and teachers) recognize where thinking has gone astray.