Overview of Module 7 (July 20-26)

Key Ideas of Mod 7

  1. Review Modules 1- 7 learning, synthesize ideas and reflect on learning experience
  2. Provide feedback to each other on Module 6 reflections and makes
  3. Develop draft of Final Inquiry Project website
  4. Be sensitive and aware of opportunities to think and articulate thinking in different ways
  5. Work as a learning community


Mod 7 Resources

MLA Convention Address by Audre Lorde 1977

Text Equivalent:

“I have come to believe that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised and misunderstood… In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence.” Audre Lorde, 1934-1992, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher.

We are on the homestretch, visible thinkers. This module will offer opportunities for synthesis, “polishing,” reflection and a time to look ahead.

The Final Inquiry Project is an opportunity for you to synthesize all that you have been learning — to develop your thinking dispositions, apply some thinking routines to help you make sense of your Inquiry topic, clarify ideas and articulate them in numerous ways. You will spend most of this Module working on the draft website.

Remember the 6 Facets of Understanding? A student who really understands:

  • Can explain
  • Can interpret
  • Can apply
  • Sees in perspective
  • Demonstrates empathy
  • Reveals self-knowledge (Self-assesses, self-regulates, recognizes his own prejudices etc.)

Apply the 6 Facets’ Rubric, Paul and Elder’s intellectual standards, and Brookhart’s Ideas Rubric for Writing to your own Inquiry Project work. Use them as guidelines.

Before we part, there are FIVE major points I’d like to share with you. Click on the tabs to access more information on the ideas:

Despite the busyness of our lives, I encourage you to pause and check your thinking from time to time. We cannot be good thinkers without time to be still and to be present in the moment to reflect on what was and what is to come. Some people develop rituals, routines or habits. Twyla Tharp, a renowned choreographer, shares that the secret to her success is in establishing some habits. You have learned about thinking routines and various ways to articulate and document your thinking. Practice. Practice. Practice. Thinking Routines. Artful Thinking Routines — until they become internalized in you to the point where you don’t even have to consciously think of using them. There are no short cuts.

Steven Pressfield has a book entitled Do the Work. It’s worth a read.

Find Your Voice (Leo Babauta)
If you don’t know it by now, you must and should. I’ve stressed throughout this course that making our thinking visible involves the search for our voice: finding it and then using it, or vice versa. Sometimes, it’s in using our voice that we find it. It takes a lot of practice and fearlessness (vulnerability) but how else would you want to live a life of meaning and purpose?

When we take steps to articulate our thoughts openly, in writing or doodles, we may feel vulnerable and sometimes even ashamed of our work. Brene Brown teaches us that vulnerability is not weakness, it takes strength to talk about our struggles and to be open. Audre Lorde in the opening quote above echoes the same sentiments. “Of what had I ever been afraid? — Death is the final silence.” Use your voice wisely as long as you have life. Watch Brene Brown’s incredible video and remember this principle as you go forth.

Empathy is a facet of understanding. May you exercise more of this quality as you seek first to understand before being understood (Stephen Covey quote). I know, it’s not easy. Good thinkers seek to cultivate this thinking disposition, to step inside the shoes of another to consider alternative viewpoints. Enjoy this animated feature!

In Module 1, you learned about the 6 principles of visible thinking. As the curtain falls on this course, remember Malaguzzi’s poem and apply it to your life. Another article in our Documents folder rounds up this course on making thinking visible — why make learning (and thinking) visible. Krechevsky, Mardell, Rivard and Wilson (2013) posit that learning is social, purposeful, emotional, empowering and representational. Consider that with the earlier article by Ritchart and Perkins (2008). Well, you now have some tools I’ve shared with you in this course. Go forward to DIRECT YOUR OWN LEARNING and make a difference right where you are!



Mod 7 Activities

  • This will be your final opportunity to meet this deadline for grading. Of course, you can always come back later to read the posts!
  • Check out other learners’ Module 6 reflection posts and makes aggregated on the Blog Hub, AND you are always welcome to comment on other posts that you have had limited time to read and write comments for.
  • Add comments to at least 3 different participants’ posts. Refer to How to Write Blog Comments as a guide.
  • This course is ending. It’s time to make your blog look more professional and spiffy if this is going to be part of an e-portfolio and something you include on your resume for potential employers to review.
  • Here’s some tips to make it look more polished:
    • Change the blog theme. On your dashboard, look under Appearance and preview other themes. Choose one that improves the presentation for an external audience.
    • Review your posts. Check the content, grammar, spelling, titles and details that need revision. I’ve requested for certain blog posts to be revised. Now is the time to improve before the final grading is set. Check the document in your individual folders for feedback.
    • Catch up on missing assignments.

Please have your draft ready with the navigation menu, and most, if not all, of the information. I would like to see that you are on the right track before you go any further.  Rampages.us will be down on Saturday July 25. You won’t be able to work on your project the whole day.

Please email me your draft website link: ywkreher@vcu.edu

  • This is the last Power Reflection of this course. It is a self-assessment of what and how you have learned.
  • I would like to ask you to assess yourself on the core questions of this course + the other questions below them:
    • Overarching Course Goals

      The core questions we will explore throughout this course are:

      • What is clarity in thinking?
      • Why do we make our thinking visible?
      • What is a thinking disposition? How do we develop thinking dispositions?
      • How do we make our thinking visible and clear? What are some visible thinking strategies we can employ to improve the clarity of our thinking?
      • How do we talk about thinking in such a way as to make it visible and significant?
      • How do we move from clear thinking into powerful learning for positive action and community engagement?
    • In 7 weeks (a very compressed time), what steps have you taken to explore most/all of these questions in our time together? What makes you say so?
    • What is one Diigo reading that stretched your thinking? (Review of Diigo questions was last week’s assignment which I scrapped.)
    • What would you like to do after this course to further your understanding of our course topics?
    • What are some questions you still have as a result of this course?
  • Assign the category VCUTHINK to this reflection. Assign the tag REFLECT7 to this post.
  • Publish the post.

Updated: July 19, 2015, 00:46 AM

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