This space is dedicated to our collective intelligence; focused on identifying and utilizing resources for our intellectual growth; looking for opportunities to generalize (transfer) insights and skills; taking command over our growth.
The goal is to aggregate intellectual moves and examples. An Intellectual Move, as conceived here, is a move of the mind that can be used in multiple contexts because I’m conscious of my thinking, I’m systematic in my approach to thinking, I’m consistent in my thinking, I’m fair-minded in my thinking.
For example, an intellectual move might be: “I’m going to ask a few clarifying questions: Can you give me an accurate definition? Can you elaborate on that? Can you give me an example or counter example? Can you tell me what it looks like: a metaphor or analogy perhaps? or draw a chart or graph.” In our backpack, we now have a tool that may look like this:
|Clarifying Questions||Can you define that?
Can you elaborate?
Can I have an example?
Will you give me a metaphor or analogy?
|Nosich, G. Learning to Think Things Through…|
We’ll create a fancy form to collectively build this. Here’s the catch, once we write it down we hold ourselves to practice it because we have a resource. I’ll help us identify the moves. I’ll help you practice them. I’ll even help you figure out how to transfer them to other areas of your academic (and maybe even personal) life. Ultimately, you’ll use this list to show how your work practiced them as you work to take ownership of intellectual skills and attitudes.
This is a life resource, that, I’ll claim, you will be able to use to become a lifelong learner and blow employers and supervisors away (in a good way).
Let’s build it!
How are we using the term intellectual?
- Conscious: To what extent am I aware of the thinking I am doing?
- Systematic: Do I have a clear intent and plan/approach to addressing this problem or issue?
- Are the ideas that inform my work consistently interpreted and used?
- Do my inferences logically follow from the evidence?
- Am I consistent in the intellectual moves I engage?
- Am I applying the same standards to the evaluation of my thinking that I am applying to the evaluation of others’ thinking?
- To what extent am I projecting my biases and agendas on the issue?
- Have I given fair voice to alternative interpretations and conclusions?
- Have I displayed the proper attitude to engage in the discussion during class to maximize the benefits of this course?
- Am I just in this class to achieve a grade or to become a better thinker to help make the world a better place?
- Is there something I could learn from others’ experiences and approaches to inform the way we handle tasks?
- Did I dedicate myself enough to the whole assignment?
- Did the results of my attempt to an assignment reflect the effort I put into it?
- Did I contribute my effort more than the last person?
- Was that worth my effort? How can I measure or assess what is worth the effort?
On Being Proactive (self-directed learner)
- What does one do to be efficiently proactive?
- Is being proactive that same for everyone?
- What are others doing to be more proactive?
- When do I work best and when do I need a break to get the most out of my time?
- Everyone comes to class, but it’s the time in-between one class and the next where I need to be more proactive?
What do you have to do to write your next paper? What resources are you aware of that you need to write a good paper?
- Give yourself time to brainstorm
- if you wait until last minute, you don’t give yourself enough time to do the proper research and preparation
- Use your peers to have discussions about your topic and to review your research and finished product and test your ideas.
- Use the writing center!
- Use the librarians.
What does it mean to be prepared for class?
- To be prepared, an ‘A’ thinker:
- comes to class with questions that explore unknowns and/or contradictions/problems with the content.
- comes to class with connections that links a key idea or example to other domains of thought (subjects, examples, concepts, perspectives).
- comes to class with questions that explores clarity (definitions & examples/counter examples), accuracy (truth & validity), breadth (relevant alternative perspectives) and depth (looking for the complexities, following out implications, making deep connections).
- comes to class with some product (writing or illustration that demonstrates one’s understanding).
- comes to class ready to dialogue with everyone, not just the instructor.